Here's an interesting auto focus lens for Sony that covers a full frame sensor. The new Samyang AF 75mm f/1.8 FE is a unique short-telephoto lens well-suited for portraiture, with a distinct focal length, compact design, and bright f/1.8 maximum aperture. Both the price and focal length sit somewhere between Sony's own 50mm 1.8 and 85mm f/1.8 lenses. The optical design incorporates a three extra-low dispersion elements and a pair of high refractive index elements, which help to suppress both chromatic and spherical aberrations for improved sharpness, color accuracy, and clarity.

An Ultra Multi-Coating has also been applied to reduce flare and ghosting in order to achieve higher contrast when working in strong lighting conditions. The lens's linear STM autofocus motor works in conjunction with Sony cameras' AF systems for quick, quiet, and precise focusing performance (yes Autofocus works in video mode also), and manual focus override is also available for more refined control. Additionally, a Custom Switch enables making intuitive adjustments of a variety of camera and exposure settings by rotating the lens's focusing ring. The new Samyang 75mm f/.8Available is available now via B&H (found here).


Samyang AF 75mm f/1.8 FE Lens for Sony E


As much as i love shooting with the smaller mirrorless cameras (Sony A7R3 + GH5s) as they are much easier to pack up and handle all day, I really despise the lack of having built in ND Filters. Having to thread filters on and off slows down the process of filming.

So what I ended up doing was permanently adding these Swing Away Filter Holders to my most popular run-n-gun lenses. When I need the ND Filter, I leave it down, and when I don't need it, I swing it away. I've also added lens caps over the nd filters so I never have to remove the adapter.


Swing Away ND Filter Adapter in Various Sizes

I could have just purchased one or two filter holders and shared them between lenses, but I decided to spend the extra money and just have one for each of my most widely used lenses. Over the last 9 weeks i've been using these adapters, I feel like it has made our productions so much more efficient. Quality of build is excellent, and I suggest everyone have at least one of these in your kits.

The only advice I have if you plan to use these ND Filter adapters on your lenses, is to make sure you use filter step up rings, and choose oversized ND or CPL filters. These swing away filter holders protrude a bit from the front of your lenses, and you may end up seeing vignetting, so you should go with a bigger size. If you're lens filter thread is 58mm, use a step up ring and purchase a 67mm holder, and finally add a 77mm ND Filter to the end.If you're lens is 72mm, try to step it up to an 82mm, etc. etc.


Swing Away Lens Filter Holder for ND Filters CPL

What headphones am I currently using for video editing? I've been asked this question a few times lately, and as i'm not exactly sure how I ended up purchasing the OneOdio Over Ear Headphones last year - i've been happy I did. I purchased one set last year for editing in my office, and just recently purchased another set when editing at home (no endorsements here, purchased it on my own). In fact my daughter keeps taking them off my desk to watch videos on her iPad, and so now I'm about ready to purchase a third set.


OneOdio Studio headphones with 50mm Driver

I'm not going to compare them to other top headphones people are using for video editing, as i'm sure there's a million other options out there. I'm just letting you know what I ended up with and have been using for almost a year now. I'm not the guy editing in surround sound, and most of my projects will probably be watched through some tiny smart device (phone or tablet). So if you're creating content mainly for social media and internet, then I think these headphones will work great.

[ If you're inclined to, I suggest reading through some of the thousands of Amazon reviews where even so called 'audiophiles' are comparing them to other top brands. ]

The OneOdio headphones are lightweight, soft pads, and are comfortable to wear for several hours of editing. I chose a model with a 50mm driver, and the sound is great. Though they don't have noise cancelling features (the one I chose), they fit well and block out a lot of ambient noise.

The OneOdio headphones don't feel cheap, and come with two different cords (3.5mm or 1/4), and enough accessories to work with any device. In fact the cord comes with a microphone, so if you happen to be listening to music through your smartphone and get a call, they even be used for conversations on your smartphones. For me they have held up over time, and kept me happy enough to buy it again. I suggest taking a look at some of their options as the OneOdio Headphones can start around $37 dollars and have more expensive versions depending on your needs.


OneOdia Over Ear Studio Headphones

Here's a video I shared a few years ago, but has become even more relevant under today's pandemic circumstances. More and more people are working remote and having to deal with live video conferencing / meetings. Instead of a poor quality webcam, with this adapter you can capture the HDMI video feed (up to 4K resolution) and turn any professional camera into a webcam for conferencing applications like Zoom, Skype, Hangout, and even Facetime. Or use it for live streaming through services like Facebook or YouTube Live.

Yes there are cheaper video capture adapters, but most are only up to HD resolution. Even though most streaming services only support HD, by having the option with 4K resolution, you can use the extra resolution for faux camera angles and simulate a multicamera production. If you're offering a live stream service for a business or company, this could greatly help turn those boring static camera angles into a more interesting and engaging presentation for the viewers.

Software like OBS will allow you to create 'scenes' in which you could zoom in to different parts of that 4K resolution and then toggle between them by just using your keyboard. Live Keying (such as green screen) will also benefit from 4K capture as you have more information to work with. So virtual backgrounds will be cleaner. Not to mention that 4K just looks better when downscaling. So yes, while there are cheaper solutions to turn any camera into a webcam, not many can capture 4K resolution like these Epiphan Video Capture Adapters.

epiphan video 4k hdmi to usb capture device card
Learn-More-sm Epiphan Video 4K HDMI to USB Capture Record Stream Adapter


Anyone remember these shoulder rig camera stabilizers that have an adjustable chest support? Despite how cheap they feel, they work great for stabilizing shots. And they're less than $20 bucks!


Learn More Shoulder Stabilizer with Chest Support

But the main thing I hated about those stabilizers was that you couldn't just throw your rig back onto a tripod for a static shot. It's just not designed to work that way. I'm a big fan of a shoulder rig with chest support, it makes a huge difference keeping the camera from falling forward - and you won't need rear counterweights that just add excessive weight to your rig. So I decided to grab one of Sony's old camera stabilizers made for cameras like the EX1.

Now if you're looking at the OEM Sony Camcorder Shoulder Support (as seen here), you'll see they run upwards of $480 dollars+. Instead, you want to look at an aftermarket version will runs just over $100 dollars (which I have), and the quality is pretty much the same.


Learn More Foldable Camera Stabilizer Tripod to Shoulder Rig

The moment I received the shoulder stabilizer, I removed all the VCT mounts underneath, and just attached a manfrotto 501 plate. The front VCT QR plate can also be removed, and after stripping it down, I used this plate to attach rosette handles (had to drill two holes for the clamp). So not very much modification needed to have a functional shoulder rig stabilizer that easily sits back on to a tripod! It's worked so well, i'll probably be picking up one more for my Pocket Cinema Camera rig.


In my office i've got a pretty sweet 80TB Synology RAID NAS setup for editing videos. But with COVID here i'm working from home mostly (to tend to my kids who have no school). Editing at home from a laptop I'm quickly finding myself in need of an extra portable hard drive.

My requirements for a small drive are 6TB+ with at least Type C USB. I don't need lightning fast SSDs for the projects i'm working on with my laptop, and space is more important than speed. After comparing a few different drives, I happened upon this Oyen Digital 10TB Mini Raid (hardware RAID, not software) - which I ended up purchasing.


Learn More Oyen Digital 10TB Portable RAID Hard Drive

The Oyen Digital drive can be selected to run on bus power, or through an AC adapter (included), and can also be configured for JBOD, RAID 0, RAID 1, & big mode - No software required. The flexibility for TypeC USB means that I can use it with my newer laptop, or adapt it to work with the older USB on my Mac Pro (trashcan) desktop computer. They are available in various sizes, and even SSD Versions if you're truly in need of speed.

There are physically two disks internally, and when set to JBOD will show the drive as just 1 large disk (maximum space). Using RAID 0 will give you the fastest write speeds as it writes to both drives at the same time - if you need speed. Configure it as RAID 1 and it will be slower on write speeds, but should one drive fail, your data can still be recovered from the second drive. RAID 1 does mean that you'll lose half the capacity because of the redundancy. So there's plenty of options depending on your needs.

I'm guessing for the price, the internal drives aren't something to brag about, but for the total space and hardware RAID features, it's not bad. These Oyen Digital mini RAID drives have been available for a while, has almost full 5 star reviews (at time of this writing). It looks good so far, but obviously I have to through some projects.


Learn More Oyen Digital 10TB Portable RAID Hard Drive

If you haven't heard of the Oyen Digital brand, they've been around for quite a while, and early models supported external storage for XBOX and Playstation consoles. But they also have a line of large RAID enclosures such as this 70TB model on B&H. If you don't need the rugged casing, they also have desktop versions with hardware RAID options.


Oyen Digital RAID Enclosures

How can you use your Canon DSLR, Sony Mirrorless, or even your Blackmagic Design Pocket Cinema Camera as a webcam? That's been a common question these days. As more people continue to work from home, Video conferencing has become more of a necessity. While basic webcams are suffice, there may be reasons you will need cameras with more abilities and features. Features such as better low light performance, wide angle lenses to fit a large conference room, or maybe you need audio inputs from a wireless Lav mic when teaching a distance from the camera - simple features where a basic webcam may fall short.


[source Runplayback.com]

By simply adding a capture device, you can turn just about any camera into a webcam for use with applications such as Zoom, Webex, Skype, Hangouts and even Facetime. Rik Cordero from Runplayback.com gives us a look at a popular HDMI USB capture device from Inogeni.


Learn More INOGENI HDMI USB Video Capture


The CAME-TV Boltzen Fresnel Snap Kit makes modifying the Boltzen 30w and 55w fresnels quick and simple. With the fast magnetic adapter you can modify the diffusion, color temp, or add RGB effects. The kit is currently on sale from $128 to just $68 US. So why would this be better than just buying a dedicated RGB LED Light?

Well while the world is becoming more obsessive with RGB LED Lighting, one of the small problems with having this feature built in is that the maximum power for the light can be greatly reduced. As a rough example a 60 watt daylight LED is obviously a full 60 watts of power, and a 60 watt Bi-Color might be just 30 - 40 watts of brightness. When going to RGB, that same 60 watt light is even more greatly reduced.

What you'll find is some people will shop for a single color light that they most often use. This will allow you to get the smallest possible light with maximum output. Then in those rare cases where you would need the light color or temp to be modified, you can add gels. My personal preference is to choose a Daylight or Bi-Color LEDs as my primary key lights (as I often will use those on skin tones). Then for rim lighting, background lighting, or accent lighting, I'll work with RGB lights.

So while the current Boltzen 30w and 55w LED lights are not RGB, they are great portable fresnels (products here), and if you need a quick way of throwing on a splash of color, the Snap Kits are currently on sale (found here).



Learn More Boltzen LED Snap Kit

I've owned a lot of DJI Drones from Phantoms, Inspires, Mavic, Spark, Mavic Air, etc. Of all the drones, my favorite is the original Mavic Air because of it's compact size and great image quality. Though quality is not as good as the Mavic Pro series, I still prefer the smaller form factor of the Mavic Air.


I find the smaller drones less intimidating when out in public, and people tend to just see it more as a toy. The larger drones are louder, and I find more people are sensitive to the size of the drone. It's sort of the same mentality of taking photos in a public place with a smartphone vs a large DSLR camera. More people tend to look at you if your equipment looks too professional.

So i'm excited to see the new DJI Mavic Air 2 that sits in between the Mavic Pro and Mavic Air size (and weight). I think it's still might be compact enough for most people to write off, but now adds much better stability, distance, performance, and image quality over the smaller Mavic Air. It's something I think i'll be adding to my gear this year.


The new DJI Mavic Air 2 adds a new high-end camera with 1/2" CMOS sensor capable of capturing 8K Hyperlapse time-lapse shots, 4K60 video, 240 fps slow-motion 1080p video, and up to 48MP stills. Photos, panoramas, and 'video' can also be captured in HDR (high dynamic range). If you forget to insert your media, the Mavic Air 2 has 8GB of internal storage, and can accept SD cards up to 256GB.

Now DJI has added intelligent obstacle avoidance, The Advanced Pilot Assistance Systems 3.0 (APAS) is aware of the Mavic Air 2 in 3D space and its proximity to people and objects to help avoid accidental collisions.

A larger 3500mAh battery allows flight times for up to 34 minutes and at speeds of up to 43 mp. The included remote controller supports OcuSync 2.0 technology to provide you with flights at a distance of up to 11.5 miles away. For more information visit the DJI Mavic Air 2 product page (click here).