Sony A7R2 and Tamron Lenses

So probably in the latter part of the year we will be looking to upgrade a few of our cameras. Lately I’ve started the process of narrowing down the field of camera selection. One of the cameras so talked about is the Sony A7r II. Naturally this camera makes the list. As I’ve been looking through online reviews and reading blog post. I have found a lot of information talking about the camera itself as well as its compatibility through Metabones adapters to work with Canon lenses. However I have not found any information that talks about working with Tamron lenses. I’ve been a Tamron lens shooter for many years now since I got my first Canon 20D. I have drug them up mountains and drop them in the sand on the beach. In they still keep going.
So naturally I want to make sure that the Sony A7R2 will work with my tamron glass. So I logged on to Lensrentals.com (great people) that is where I rent the majority of the gear for bigger productions. I ordered the A7R2 and the Metabones V4 version four adapter and the spare Sony lens just in case it didn’t work. Before my order shipped I got an email from them that they had given me a free upgrade to the meta-bones T adapter. This is a cool adapter because it works for both Canon EF and EF–S lenses.

So when everything came in I got to testing things and I’m very happy to report that everything worked great. The only autofocus issues I had was in very low light during the civil twilight shooting some sunset stuff. I even tested out the 24 mm lens from Canon and found that it worked fine. The camera and the Metabones smart adapter even knew that it was an EFS lens and change the A7R2 camera to APC mode automatically for me. This is very helpful when you’re in the field switching lenses. This way you don’t have to remember to change the setting. All in all I’m very pleased with the system and how it works. And I must say that Sony is kicking everybody’s butt right now. Canon step up your game start getting innovative! Please! So as far as which camera we will be choosing not totally sure yet, more out there to look through but I wanted to get this out in hopes that it’ll help somebody else in their art endeavors. Wish all of you the best.

Tips for editing great video

I’ve been working with a few people as they’ve been trying to get more involved with editing video and I’ve noticed something. People get really focused on editing the video and making sure the video is right but they are listening to the audio through their computer speakers. I’m not talking about a decent set of external speakers or desktop monitors, I’m talk about the speakers built into The MacBook. It’s highly important for you to have a good set of external desktop speakers so you can actually get the volume up to an appropriate level so you can hear the blend between your vocals and or talent in your background music. The speakers inside of your computer do  not have a full dynamic range in most cases they are tweaked for vocal performance. So if you’re mixing between speech and background music there’s a good chance you’re going to wind up with the background music too loud and covering up your speech.

Get a pair of decent studio monitors plugged in to your computer and play some of your favorite music also play one of your favorite movies from Netflix. If you do a lot of documentary style editing listen to a couple a news broadcast stream from like Fox news or CNN. This will get you use to the way the studio monitor sound and react to your environment. If you do a lot of music production and music videos I would recommend getting a sub woofer as well. This will keep you from overcompensating on the bass and things becoming to bass heavy in the real world.

I used the JBL LSR305 5-inch Two-Way Powered Studio Monitors (PAIR) w/ 1 JBL LSR310S

If you’re on a budget you can always get a good pair of  headphones. I would recommend the Grado SR60e Headphones this would also work great if you need edit on the go like on an airplane. 

The last vice and it’s not super important if you’re on a budget is to get a external DAC or digital to analog converter. This will give you better sound than just the headphone jack on your computer. Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 USB Recording Audio Interface Studio Package

Cheaper alternative to Sonos

Cheaper alternative to Sonos or Denon HEOS.

A few months ago google released the new Chromecast, A $35 media streaming stick. Actually this one looks more like a hockey puck.  But they also released an audio only streaming puck. I have messed around with the Denon HEOS link and it’s still a product in the making. I have install the Sonos products mainly Connect and connect amps. So when I started looking for an alternative or cheaper option to the Sonos connect and connect amps I stumbled across the Chromecast audio player for $35. The chromecast audio player does pretty much everything a Sonos connect will do. It will let you name the rooms or devices connected to it and let you group multiple rooms for players together for a whole house audio experience. It will stream from all of the major sources like Spotify, deezer, rapacity and tune-in. I think the only thing it won’t stream is iTunes and Amazon music.

So to help you guys out and save some money here are the following ways I have this hooked up and running.

Option one driving in ceiling speakers

I have the chromecast connected to a cheap dum amp like this Lepy Amp. This amp powers a pair of Monoprice in ceiling speakers. I just leave the amp on and I have the volume about 90% of the way up. Depending on your speakers you may find you need to mess with the EQ knobs or the volume to suit your fancy.
Lepy LP-2024A+ Hi-Fi Audio Amplifier Stereo Power Amplifier Car Amplifier with Power Supply, 3A Power, 20W x 2 RMS, Black
Monoprice 104104 8-Inch Kevlar 2-Way In-Ceiling Speakers (Pair)
Monoprice 104103 6-1/2-Inch Kevlar 2-Way In-Ceiling Speaker

Option to connected to my AV receiver

My AV receiver is actually powering the living room 7.2 and kitchen in ceiling speakers. I have the chromecast connected to the CD input of my Onkyo receiver. I have a second Chromecast audio plugged into a second old denon receiver that powers the deck outdoors and dining room. I have another very similar set up in the master bedroom and bathroom.

Monoprice 104104 8-Inch Kevlar 2-Way In-Ceiling Speakers (Pair)
Monoprice 104103 6-1/2-Inch Kevlar 2-Way In-Ceiling Speaker

 This is an Onkyo that work like my old Denon with 3 zones for output.

Onkyo TX-NR1030 9.2-Ch Dolby Atmos Ready Network A/V Receiver w/ HDMI 2.0

 Option three connected to a powered speaker.

In my office I have a pair of powered studio monitors connected to the computer. I have the Chromecast connected to my powered speakers.
JBL LSR305 Studio Monitor

Cheaper Cell Phone Service

Cheaper Cell Phone Service

I have a new favorite cellular provider. Well sort of. Ting is a new cellular company of sorts they actually rent their wireless space from Sprint but. They do things a little differently you only pay for what you use. So if you think you’re only going to use $10 worth that you only pay for $10. One really cool thing if you only use $6 they only bill you for $6. If you use $30 worth of data you pay for $30 worth of data. That goes the same way for text messaging and voice. I have embedded the video off of their website. They have a lot of popular devices including the newest android smartphones. There is no contract, Just $6 a month per device that you have on the plan. If you’re tired of your high cell phone bills not sure why you’re paying or what you’re paying for. Check out Ting.com. Use this link to get $25 towards a new device https://zbsnr81llt2.ting.com

 

Now if only someone will invent pay per channel TV instead of pay per package!!!!!

 

$25 off a new device link.

https://zbsnr81llt2.ting.com/

 

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qQBZM2vIj0w]

JK® MIC-J S90 $36 Earhook Microphone

$36 Low Profile Light-weight Headset Headworn Earhook Microphone JK® MIC-J S90

This past Sunday I tried out the JK® MIC-J S90 Microphone, It looks like a countryman E6 Microphone. I was not sure about the $36 Alternative to the countryman E6 but I tried it  a few days before and was very pleased with audio. So we did use it on Sunday for our communion thought. In listening back I can say its not as good as the countryman but its a tenth of the price. The S90 is also head and shoulders better then a lapel mic. So I will be using a lot more in the future. I will keep you posted on how they hold up.

Here is an audio sample from Sunday.
[soundcloud url=”https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/242782950?secret_token=s-9A1Rd” params=”auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false&visual=true” width=”100%” height=”450″ iframe=”true” /]

Please use the links below when you buy this product! Thanks

Pro Headset Headworn Single Earhook Microphone JK® MIC-J S90 For Shure Wireless Transmitter

Professional Headset / Headworn Microphone JK MIC-J 071S for Sennheiser Wireless System – Omnidirectional Mic – Super Lightweight & Creative Design & Smallest Cartridge

International Cell Phones, Rentals & SIM Cards

International Cell Phones, Rentals & SIM Cards

I have a recommendation for a site that will help you especially if you travel a lot to other countries or even if your vacationing to another country. How many times have you ever been planning a trip to another country called your cellular provider and have no idea what they said about rates or anything else related to phone service? Plus most of the time what they’re trying to sell you wouldn’t even help you if you’re overseas and needed something like Google maps to figure out where you are and get back to where you need to be. I have a great website for you. http://www.cellularabroad.com Cellular Abroad provides wireless phone and data service around the world for a pretty affordable rate. Not only do they provide SIM cards but they also provide phones, Wi-Fi hotspots and rental devices. Cellular Abroad will rent you a phone to use for your trip to Europe for pennies on the dollar compared to your US wireless company. Or if you have an unlocked smartphone you can simply buy one of their sim cards, pop it in your phone and you’re ready to go. I’ve included a link to the tech guy podcast with Leo who interviewed the owner and founder of cellular abroad. Cellular abroad definitely is a website that you should keep in your back pocket.

 

Cellular Abroad website

http://www.cellularabroad.com

The Guy Podcast

http://www.techguylabs.com/episodes/989/sebastian-harrison

 

Tonx Coffee Company

The Tonx coffee Company is a coffee roaster in Los Angeles, California that prides themselves on freshness. Their motto is Freshly Roasted Coffee, Direct to Your Doorstep.  Tonx sells coffee based on a subscription plan. They have several levels and they ship every other week. Tonx says their coffee arrives at your doorstep within 72 hours of roasting. This morning I brewed up one of their sample bags and thoroughly enjoyed it. Tonx coffee is a light, smooth roasted coffee that you can enjoy pretty much anytime of day. They only have one type of roast coffee as for now. I enjoyed their roast both black and with my normal cream and sugar. If you go to the link at the bottom of this blog you can sign up for a free sample bag of the roasted coffee. Then if you enjoy it you can continue receiving a six or 12 ounce bag of coffee every other week from them. A 6 ounce bag of coffee should give you about three pots. They have higher subscription plans if you drink more coffee. This is the coffee I highly recommend it’s a very good morning roast. I embeded the video author website. enjoy!

Click here to try Tonx coffee for free 

[vimeo 67733848 w=700 h=393]

TONX – Truly great coffee in your kitchen, without much fuss. from Tonx Coffee on Vimeo.

Learn more and get a free taste at https://tonx.org

TONX – Truly great coffee in your kitchen, without much fuss. from Tonx Coffee on Vimeo.

Most Useful App For iOS and Android

IMG_3224 (1)

So in this blog post I want to talk about apps mainly on the iPhone that just make my life easier.
My number one most useful app that I use is Waze. Waze is a community-based GPS. This means that as I am driving as well as many other users are driving they can report accidents hazards on the road traffic and other things that impact their commute. Waze thing uses this data to reroute you. I’ve heard of the few people that used it during the snow apocalypse last year and escaped the massive traffic of 1.2 million people trying to go out 4 interstates at the same time.

 

Mile Bug, this is an app that I use to keep track of mileage and where and why I’m driving there. Then when it comes time for taxes I simply at the export button and it emails me an Excel sheet with all my mileage on it.

Evernote, most of you have probably heard or have used this. It’s basically an online place to store notes. I use this for all of those random ideas the pop into my head at various points in time. I also use it for storing templates of emails, check list, Notes from books I’ve read and a whole bunch of other stuff.
Wonder List, this is an app it’s basically a shopping list or a to do list. One reason why I like this one is it gives you the ability to have more than one list. For instance I can have a Home Depot list and a Kroger list and a packing list all-in-one app.

AccuWeather, is something I switched to last year from using the weather channel app. The main reason why I switched is that the AccuWeather app will give you a 30 day forecast. Which comes in really handy for trying to plan a photo shoots.

Scan Biz Cards, this app is basically a way of keeping your business cards and automatically turning them into contacts on your phone. You simply take a picture of the business card hit the scan button and it auto populates all the info in your contact list. Now granted occasionally you have to tweak some stuff because it’ll put a phone number in a ZIP Code spot but for the most part it works pretty good.
Retail Me Not, which is basically a coupon app it’s based upon your GPS location. As you’re driving it will pop up and say hey there’s a 25% off bed bath and beyond. Which is actually convenient when you’re actually going there. One of my biggest problems with coupons is I can never remember to bring them or I keep them in the car and forget about them. With Retail Me Not it actually prompts me to use it as I’m getting to a store.

The last app on my list which is probably the best one is Last Pass. This is the app that stores all of my passwords. It also allows me to have different passwords for every single account. It allows me to copy that password and other apps that require an account. And now with the new iPhone 6 and 6 plus you can get two factor authentication with your thumbprint.

Simplify Your Life

Simplify Your Life

I would like to turn your attention to the coolest thing since sliced bread! Its called Coin . Coin is a  card almost the same size as a credit card it has a magnetic strip you can scan just like any other card. This one electronic card can hold every single credit card, debit card, gift card, and rewards card with a magnetic strip you have or will ever have. There’s a small button and LCD readout that will let you know which card you are using and let you select a different one if you wish. So what if you lay your coin down, well there’s actually a Bluetooth transmitter in the coin that will alert your smart phone that you have left it. 

Coin is just now available for pre orders . You can pre order it now for $50. When it actually comes out in the summer (hopefully sooner) it will cost around $100. I have pre ordered one. As soon as it comes in I’ll let you guys know how well it works and what I think of it but for now here is coin’s marketing video. Enjoy

For more info go to https://onlycoin.com

Last Pass

If you ever got an email from a company like Netflix or Walmart saying that you should change your password because our servers have been compromised in some valuable data may have been exposed? Most of all of us have received an email similar to this. There several problems especially if you use the same password on multiple accounts. You may not even know how many accounts you have used that one password on.

I’ve got a product for you that I really love. This company is called last pass. www.lastpass.com Last pass can help you in many ways. What they do is they store login and password information with a massive amount of encryption in the cloud. This does two things for you. One it gives you one password for all of your accounts and it provides a superhard password for all of your accounts that is almost impossible to crack.

Most of you probably have one password that you use for everything. It’s probably something like your dogs name with a number after it. This is usually not a very strong or safe password. The other problem with using just one password for every account is that it makes it easy for the bad guy to steal your password, get in to your bank account or start ordering stuff on Amazon.

The benefit of last pass is it generates a different password for every single account you have. And then it encrypts your passwords safely in the cloud. This uses one password to access the last pass cloud servers. This one particular password is one that you can generate yourself or have Last Pass generate it. Now you might think that this is the same thing but it’s really not you’re using one superhard password containing letters, numbers, and characters to then access the password library. The last past library contains the passwords that they have made up for all of your accounts. These passwords are randomized so it’s almost impossible for a hacker to crack with a password generator.

This also solves one other frustrating problem that most people have and that is trying to remember login and password information for so many different sites. As well as if something were ever to happen to you you can set it up so loved one or someone you trust can get in and deactivate all of your online accounts.

Last past has a free version and a $12 a year version as well as an enterprise version for businesses. I highly recommend the service to you. Stay safe out there!

Andrew.