Holiday Gift Guide #4 – The Audio!

Ok, let’s talk about audio.
You know that it’s 50% of your content, unless it’s bad. Then it’s 80%

Yes, this list hasn’t changed a lot from last year, except for a few big additions:

When you want to go more mobile, and connect directly into your camera , or to a portable mixer, the latest from Rode, the Rode Wireless Pro just works . With a receiver and 2 wireless mics, you can quickly hook up your subjects for an interview situation. Plus this new setup gets you 2 lavalier mics for a more discreet mic situation.And finally, a compact charging and storage cage. In NYC, I’ve seen the local news station using these as they cover the local beat.

This new version features a 32 bit float, which is essentially a secondary recording that can ensure a quality recording when you go to edit. N0t able to use direct into your camera, but it’s your audio  insurance. Read more about 32 bit floats here.
Good news is that it is also compatible with a lot of other Rode products. Honestly it may be a bit harder to find due to the popularity, but worth the hunt.

Another solid choice is the Deity Duo,

looking like many mini mics on the market, but this one has another trick up its sleeve: you can either have it just forward facing, OR have it pick up from behind as well, so you can capture the interviewers questions as well.

If you can sit down with your subject, get a couple of the classic Shure SM58

Add in 2 Manfrotto PIXI tripods, best solution I’ve found and your set. When you buy the Shure mics, you’ll get the mic holder you need. What i like about this tripod is the height it sets the mic at. Perfect!

Let’s go more pro, if you want to get some of the best:
Sennheiser receiver/ transmitter system has been in my kit for years,

For lav mic I prefer the Tram tr50

or the Sanken COS 11-D

It’s funny, as i think the Tram is more popular on the west coast, and the Sanken on the east coast.
If you live in a major metropolitan city, like AL, Chicago or NYC, I would suggest going into a local vendor to actually hear the mics to make your best choices

If you are going into podcasting world in a studio or stationary place, a perfect mic is the
Shure SM7B

Couple it with the best headphones Sony MD 7506, around $90
Yep, that good for the best price. Nice and flat so you can mix as you like. Get one for each of your guests

What do you plug into for your podcast?
If you are going to be stationary, I’m partial to the Rodecaster Pro.

Yes, there is a newer version, the Rodecaster Duo, smaller footprint, only takes 2 mics, plug in or the wireless Go series, but the original still does everything I need and more. Plus they do firmware updates, so a great unit at a reduced price.

which mixes, records, and exports to my fave podcasting platform, Anchor. Once you export to this , it will send your podcast to all the majors.

If you are on the move, and really only have need for no more than 3 mics, the MixPre 3II is a great choice, with a small form factor and high end pre-amps, 32 bit float, and some of the best preamps around.

plus support with upgrades to the firmware when needed. While I love this mixer, I use jingle pads (added sound buttons) on all podcasts, so it does require editing and mixing after a recording. Good time to engage with your 32 bit float as well. Super high quality, however. The pro unit.

Pack all of that into an Orca bag , that you can get from 16×9 suppliers. Your size needs will vary, so choose the bag based on the gear you’ll transport and use.

More guides coming!!

Holiday Gift Guide 2023 – #2: The Gifts That Don’t Need To Get Wrapped!

And here we go!
It seems like this year, the end of year sales have been coming earlier and earlier!
Since I wouldn’t want you to miss some of the great deals out there, we’re gonna start with software.
Of course, all of the software below have great savings this year, so if you want to grab a deal , or gift someone, now is the time!

No wrapping needed.

For all of your basic daily needs, there are 2 main players: Lightroom and Capture One. The world is split!

Lightroom is my jam, and it’s DAM (digital asset management) helps me locate the 360K images on my drives, plus be able to work some post production into the mix. The Creative Cloud also is a major daily set of apps that I use all the time. Plus when some of the designers I work with send a file over, I can generally open it with one of the apps in the CC.

Now if Capture One is the way you go, They have some Black Friday deals as well! There are some that feel that the RAW processor for Fuji files is best with Capture One.

For either of these mainstay systems, you know you can do a 30 day trial to see if it’s the right system for you. Once you get married, you want to stay honestly.Another must have software is Photo Mechanic. If you shoot a lot, you need tis editing system to cull, mark, and copy your key images from a shoot, in record time.

Whether you are shooting and event, photojournalism, your kids sports, or a wedding, nothing sucks more than downloading hundreds of images, then editing them via either of the 2 systems listed above.
The speed that this software ingest and shows you the photo is insanely fast. (in a later guide, I’ll share a solution for concurrent media card inputting)

And you have no doubt heard of, and been looking to check out the line of Topaz software, including Photo AI, and see the magic it brings.

Whether you need to do simple noise reduction, sharpening, ability to make larger prints, and more, this package has it.
I suggest doing tests with this, and seeing how much you want the image you are working with to be affected. Be gentle.

For the relative newbie to this world of photo/video software, a perfect place to start is Photoshop Elements.

at $90 for both the photo and video software, $60 for stills only, you can give the gift of expression and help someone start on the path to pro level post production.
The great thing about this package is that it takes a lot of the great features of the full up software, and has made them available in a much simpler, easier to manage package.

One thing to note is that I have used all of these products, and vouch for them all. As you can tell on Capture One, I have it, have used it sometimes, and it’s solid. There are a variety of others available, that you can add to your main system as plug-ins. Maybe over the holiday you can do some trials and see what may be best for you.

Like I said, once you get married to a main system, you tend to stay .

More guides coming!



Holiday Gift Guide 2023 – 1st Up, Something For Your family

Sure, the deals are coming faster than ever this year, and in the coming days, the posts here will cover a range of gifts for the image maker in your life.
Or maybe just you!

With holidays here, your chances of hanging out with family are darn good, and I’d like to suggest something to you:

Interview and Record the elders in your family, and create a family history video that can be shared, cherished, and passed on.


When my grandmother was 92 and my daughter was 2, I saw them hanging out, and knew that the knowledge of family history my grandmother had would never get told, unless she told it.
Some family members felt it would be revisionist history. You know what? It was the only history we had.
And everyone sees life through their own eyes and experiences. No one is objective.
So I sat with Grandma Kate, and my daughter at one end of her bed, and proceeded to ask her questions.
Even if she didn’t know what she ate the morning before, she knew her personal history.
With a video camera in hand, I made a record for us of who were, where we came from, what my dad’s life was like, and look into the past that only she could provide.
Since then I have a made a bunch of these, and honestly, as you hone your interview skills, shooting skills, you will have made a very special gift for yourself and your family.

There is a reason that companys like and DNA kits have become so popular. We want to know who we are, and knowing where we came from is a big step in that direction.

It’s up to you.
With your skill set, the tools, and during the holidays, the PERFECT opportunity, you can create a video that would bring a lotta happiness to your family.

The picture above is my father when he was a radio announcer in NYC.
Never got to interview him, and always wanted to share the sound of his voice with my daughter. Didn’t happen.

Give your new gear a run through with a purpose. Plenty of time for selfies.
Just a suggestion.

If you own a company, and still are making your year end purchases, coming up are more gift guides to help you make some gear decisions. Plus more.

My personal go-to purchases at this time of year are media cards and hard drives. Boring maybe, but essential, and best prices this time of year.

One thing to note is that there will not be camera systems in the gift guide. Every brand comes out with new and improved models, yet to switch systems is not and easy or cheap move. You know what you like, and perhaps the new global sensor is what you are after. Or you want to wait for the 2nd gen.

What will be posted in the next days will be gift ideas that will help you, or the giftee, in their image making life

Social Content & Platypod, Plus More! : Tools For The Kit

How do we share these enriching experiences with a wider audience? In this digital age, social media reigns supreme, with IG reels and TikTok leading the way. Like it or not, it’s a fact.
Personally, I’ve embarked on a journey of increased content creation and discovered some invaluable tools along the way. When it comes to outdoor shoots, I’ve opted for a compact setup – I still shoot Fuji for those captivating stills reels and my trusty iPhone for additional IG reels and Tik Tok adventures.
I have kind of Frankestein-ed this from a variety of items in my general kit.
Depending on needs.

Here is a list:
*Platypod Extreme tripod Base
*Platypod Handle
*LumeCube phone holder
*LumeCube mini LED
*Manfrotto BallHead – (link is to a diff ballhead, than what is in the photos)
*Joby Impulse 2 Remote + (the secret weapon)
*Ankerwork M650 Microphones

Continue Reading »

Fall Will Bring A New FujiFilm GFX 100 II – Medium Format Flagship Gets An Update!

The FujiFilm update to their medium format camera has been rumored and is now about to become available.

The GFX 100II will be here this fall!

What do you get different from the last model?
For one thing the learnings of the sensor on the X-H2s, you get an improved 102MP Sensor with faster and better AF. We all need that!
Burst shooting has gone from 5 FPS to 8 FPS Continue Reading »