Tech RoundUp

Manfrotto XPRO4

Cast your mind back to the late1960s. Lino Manfrotto was a photo reporter for Il Gazzettino and Il Giornale di Vicenza in Bassano del Grappa. Like many fabricators, inventors and innovators before him, he struggled with the industry standard of equipment he was using during his advertising shoots. With the help of a collaborator, Lino Manfrotto, he made his first products, including a light and sturdy lamp stand, that was finally high enough. For a couple of years he produced just a few pieces to meet the needs of his photographer friends. Later he decided to present them on an international level, obtaining his first significant order from a Swiss…

Beoplay PLAY E8

There are some benchmarks in consumer AV. Bang & Olufsen has been setting the standard for as long as we can remember. When a certain fruit based tech firm decided to do away with the humble headphone jack, we all knew there would be an uptake in Bluetooth headphones across the board.  The B&O Play E8’s are pretty much the crème de la crème of the market. With intuitive touch control, a case that doubles as a charging station and four hours of play time from one charge,  we’ve found our best and brightest. Of course, the sound produced is of the B&O standard we’ve all come to adore but…

My Passport Wireless Pro

As you would expect, our throughput of rich media at The Review sometimes looks like a data Tsunami. Photographers and DOP’s can utilise online storage and delivery, cards and of course storage devices. But does every single shoot need a RAID array backed up to a data centre buried in the side of a mountain? We don’t think so. Having spent a week on a yacht shoot last year with a failed 2TB storage device, we found ourselves in a bit of a hole. Sure there are some decent electronics shops in Greece but they come with an idiot tax attached to them that can leave you paying double the…

Rokinon

Glass. Surely it can’t all be about good glass, can it? Well, it depends if you have used cinema prime lenses before. We historically shot all our film projects with variable kit lenses from the Canon range, slowly building up a range of better and better prime lenses. The price can quickly escalate into the upper echelons of ridiculous. So, we wanted to see if there was an entry-level set of prime lenses available to the starter and the lifer alike. Cue the team at Rokinon, who’ve been making lenses since 1972 from their head office in South Korea. Rokinon is giving its Cine lenses an upgrade with the Cine…

LG Smart 4K Ultra HD

I have been obsessed with all things mechanical, electronic and digital since I can remember. It’s a disease really. The humble simpleton might not need the extra horse power, pixels or wattage – but I do. When the LG OLED TV arrived, I dispensed with the usually careful unpacking and tore into it like a 4-year-old at Christmas. Even with glasses I had to widen my retina to take in the massive 3840 x 2160 resolution screen. I take my viewing pleasure very seriously, and so the amount of research that went into what new TV to buy personally went above and beyond the customary flick through the brochure. LG…

MAVIC PRO

DJI  have  come  a  long  way  since  we  tested  the  DJI  phantom  2.  Faster,  stronger,  safer  and  predictably  smaller.    This  little  bot  has  a  range  of  up  to  13km  thanks  to  DJI’s  new  Ocusync  transmission  technology.  It  is  also  considerably  harder  to  crash  than  its  earlier  incarnations  with  Flight  Autonomy  mode.  allowing  the  Mavic  to  sense  obstacles  some  15m  away  and  brake  or  hover.    Whilst  the  Mavic  might  be  a sixth of  the  size  of  the  Phantom  4,  it  has  a  flight  time  of  27  minutes.  That  is  long  enough  for  any  take  or  race.  We  like  the  Mavic  pro’s  small  form  factor  so  much,  we’re  issuing  our  travel  photographers …

SANDISK EXTREME & PRO

You might think that storage media is created equal. Well, you are wrong. We’ve all had experiences of storage cards made of less stern stuff failing during a shoot or corrupting data. It is a nightmare to say the very least. The SanDisk Extreme range is great for capturing UHD 4K footage with speeds of up to 95MB read and 90MB write. With a crew travelling so much overseas, it’s also good to know that the cards are shockproof, temperature-proof, waterproof and x-ray-proof. Basically bomb proof. We tested the Extreme PRO 128GB SD and Extreme 256GB Micro SD using the Sony A7SII and DJI MAVIC PRO. Not only have we…

A vision of modern living

In the latest of a series of new moves by leading technology designer LG, award winning designer Patrick Grant is collaborating with the brand on a series of premium home technology devices. Grant has been showcasing his vision for modern, metropolitan living. His concept combines the elegant and timeless designs of the entire LG SIGNATURE range, with the rich heritage of the townhouse on Carlton Terrace, where the installation will be showcased. Already well known for his formidable designs in the world of fashion, Patrick Grant brings a fresh and unique perspective to home interiors with his design, which includes a freestanding, modular, cubic, living system – his vision for premium modern-living. Patrick Grant…

Kitchen Cool

The products that’ll make your kitchen exude class and cool. Tefal Jamie Oliver Professional Series, £53-£62 These pans prove that you don’t need to spend the earth to get quality. Apart from the weighty aesthetic, the heat distribution of this cookware is excellent, with even cooking and consistent results. These pans also have exceptional wear resistance – but only if you treat them lovingly (always hand wash and dry). The pans are supremely comfortable, despite being a little heavy; their sturdiness is reassuring and never become too hot to hold. We were even shocked to prefer this Tefal model over a number of higher-end brands.   Magimix Pro 350 deep…

Pelican Cases

Let’s be honest, whether it’s your body weight in gold bullion, blood diamonds or just the sat phone, security is your main priority. You didn’t toil with that despot in the far-flung jungles of wherever just to walk away empty-handed. You want your prize. Except no substitutes, Pelican is the only way. If it were an employee being sent on a fractious investment deal with a tin pot dictatorship, it would be beaten relentlessly, get the deal signed, turn up at HQ bloodied and battered and ask “Do you need me to do it again?” When we turn up on set for a photo or video shoot, it can arguably…

Disaster Recovery

When I was taught the finer points of disaster recovery, I was in my twenties and was certainly not expecting to learn that the majority of data loss is caused by planned downtime, not floods and fire. However, this does not mean that you should ignore such natural disasters. The digital age means that more and more people are backing up their data to a storage device and putting in a draw for safe keeping. This of course is moderately acceptable if your just backing up your mothers recipes and risqué photos. However when it’s your company accounts and emails you really ought to have something a little more developed in place….

Tech Roundup – Q3

Motorola TLKR T80 Quad Pack The Motorola TLKR T80 Extreme lets you have free conversations using an original and stylish modern radios with a wide range of features. This extremely robust license free 2-way radio has been given an IPX4 rating for its reinforced water resistant exterior. To find out more about IP ratings click here. With easy to use controls, a range of up to 10km*, a handy built-in torch and 8 channels, this is an ideal tool for communicating in any environment. The T80 Extreme model allows you to create groups, so you can make calls to your whole team or a group of people.  Every member of…

TECH ROUNDUP

This issue we bring you what we consider to be the finest tech junkie fixes in all the land. GOPRO Any action sports junkie will know that a camera is essential, in order to fully explain and brag that ‘sick jump’ to your nearest and dearest. The black edition shoots high-frame rate 1440p48, 1080p60, 960p100, 720p120, 4Kp15 and 2.7Kp30 enabling cinema quality capture. WiFi enabling iPhone connectivity and Superview mode are just a few of the GoPro’s arsenal of extras. Shockproof and waterproof to 197′ (60m), and proven in heavy surf from Tahiti to Northern California and everywhere in between, GoPro cameras can handle it, thanks to their highly engineered…

Tech Roundup – Film

As the ranks of the independent filmmaker exponentially expand and the funding market for new films grows, the team at Canon are carving out a serious piece of market share for themselves. What better way to kick-start our inaugural tech review than by featuring a giant-killing piece of kit. The influx of DSLR filmmakers has heralded a new wave of creativity flooding into the market. The next generation of cinematographers walks amongst you. The 5D – and whilst this is by no means conclusive – led this charge in my humble opinion. Those of us wanting to produce work without a bank loan or a budget for a RED epic were…

A toy to end all toys.

EmoSpark Console Guarantees User’s Increased Happiness The first A.I. home device will forever change the course of entertainment. Technology that improves our lives is always a priority. Technology that can improve moods and overall happiness is beyond our expectations, yet we are always ready for a break from today’s chaotic world. Enter EmoSpark, the world’s first home artificial intelligence console that uses emotion text and content analysis to measure the emotional responses of its users. In fact, it actually detects the moods of several people in the room at a time, the same way people do, through facial recognition and learning to interact through conversation. Technically, EmoSpark accesses NASA’s MODIS…