TASCAM DR-40 Digital Audio Recorder

TASCAM DR-40 Digital Audio RecorderThe TASCAM DR-40 is a compact and ultra-high quality portable digital audio recorder. I needed a solution to the “tinny” audio that some of my video devices were producing. Even the best video cameras seem to have this problem. I love TASCAM products. They’re focused on quality and everything I’ve purchased from them in the past has under-promised and over-delivered. This is a product that comes with a manual, but really doesn’t need one because it’s so easy to figure out. It even comes with three “AA” batteries to get started. The only things they don’t put in the box are thumbs. I suggest getting two of those. Figuring out how to use the DR-40 is pretty intuitive. I’ve rarely consulted with the manual except for some fine tuning.

You can watch one of my video blogs to hear the audio quality of this device.


Toshiba Thrive 10.1″/16GB tablet

Toshiba 16GB 10" TabletI recently sold my Toshiba Satellite and replaced it with a Toshiba Thrive 10.1″ tablet. I needed something with enough power to handle my daily chores like photo editing, emailing clients, web browsing, video conferencing, etc. Must have played with every damned tablet currently available on the market. What sold me on the Thrive was the numerous full sized ports and it’s massive 10.1″ screen. It still fits in my hands comfortably, but the screen is key. Needed something with great resolution, color and brightness for client meetings. I also appreciate the heavily textured back cover which helps with gripping the device.

Check out the video for a full unboxing and initial impression of the Toshiba Thrive tablet.



Rokinon 8mm Ultra Wide Angle f/3.5 Fisheye Lens

Rokinon's super wide angle lensI hesitated on purchasing a fisheye lens for a long time because I thought it wasn’t meant for everyday use. Wrong. The Rokinon 8mm is great for really tight spaces! The lens has a 180 degree field of view, so you will definitely have to get used to that. The slightest object will appear in the viewfinder if it comes anywhere near the lens glass. Also, this is a manual focus lens. The reason it’s affordable is because it does not contain electronics. It has a very solid metal body and nice glass. The construction on this lens is rock solid.Angela sits on top of a pay phone in New Brunswick, New Jersey

I have to say the image quality for such an affordable lens is quite impressive. It’s sharp and the colors are comparable to my Canon lenses. Yes, I am on of “those” loyal Canon customers in terms of lenses. I am not opposed to trying out a different brand if they have a really attractive product. I couldn’t justify spending upward of $400.00 for Canon’s fisheye. It’s not a lens I use every day.Lambertville Railroad in Lambertville, New Jersey I should also mention this lens works best with crop sensors. You can use it on a full frame camera, but it will give you a circular image.

I took the photo of Angela on the payphone while it was raining and the lens performed flawlessly. My gear was in an exposed area where it rained continuously. The lens hood on the Rokinon 8mm is long enough to keep a light rain off the glass. Because the lens is rounded, making it harder to clean, you will want to avoid getting anything on it.Three models showing wares from Discreet Denim by Rick Meeker

The photo of the railroad track was taken no more than one foot from the actual track. It’s amazing how much this lens can see at such close proximity to the subject.

The photo of all three models standing in the New Brunswick train station tunnel is a perfect example of how wide this lens is. The sidewalk is about five feet wide. My camera was set up on the same sidewalk the models stood on. I was able to capture the sidewalk, all three models, and much of the tunnel. None of my other lenses would come close to producing a shot like this. Great DSLR lens at a great price.

Pick up the Rokinon 8mm today!


WhiBal White Balance Card Pocket Kit

WhiBal White Balance Pocket Card KitI usually adjust white balance myself to whatever look I’m trying to achieve. That means it’s not technically correct. That’s fine when I’m getting creative with split toning and black and white images. But if I am trying to accurately depict a product or something that needs realism, a white balance card is a necessary tool.

From Michael Tapes Design:

  • It fits in your shirt pocket. (same size as an American business card …2×3.5 inches)…so you will actually use it rather than have it in your bag!
  • It is basically indestructible, waterproof, etc.
  • All 3 “Kit” versions (Pocket, Studio, Reference Kits) come with convenient stand for ease of setup on tables or flat surfaces. No need for someone to hold the WhiBal.
  • All 3 “Card” versions (Pocket, Studio, Reference Cards) are just the card alone.
  • New Key Chain Card (1x2inch) version comes complete with S-Biner attachment hardware (as shown).
  • All 4 WhiBal versions are individually measured with a precision spectrophotometer to certify that each card shipped meets or exceed or stringent specifications.
  • The Gray card is designed for low reflectivity, except that the sticker is intentionally highly reflective so that maximum TrueBlack™ Blackpoint level may be achieved by observing for maximum glare point and then backing the angle down.
  • Larger 3.5x6inch Studio size is also available
  • Can be used to set white balance reference, Black point and White point.
  • Fits shirt pocket or can hang on studio hook or lanyard. (Lanyard is supplied with Pocket version only).
  • WhiBal® is a product of PictureFlow LLC and available exclusively from RawWorkflow.com, B&H Photo Video, Samys Camera, and a few fine photo shops.