Panasonic Gh4

Jan 112015

The New Panasonic 4K Blu-ray Player and Cameras

Panasonic showed off a 4K Blu-ray player. Its the first native 4K player in the world I think?

Panasonic introduces three new camcorders: HC-WX970 (4K video and HDR), HC-VX870 (4K video and HDR), HC-V770 (only HDR, no 4K). The cost for the WX970 is only $1,000. The VX870 is only $900. So, pretty much the days of good 4K video for under $1,000 are no longer a dream. But… its a video camera; the ergonomics are worse than on a DSLR (in my opinion!).  No clue if these cameras can shoot HDR mode and 4K simultaneously. If they can, that is awesome because you get nice dynamic range and great resolution.

Sony 4K Cameras: FDR-X1000V action cam, FDR-AX33

Sony has a new $500 action cam: the FDR-X1000V. It shoots 4K as well as high frame rate video. GoPro, you nervous? Sony makes amazing camera sensors; better than Canon or Nikon. I wouldn’t be surprised if the FDR-X1000V shoots better quality video than the GoPro Hero4. Sony also unveiled a cheaper action cam that only shoot 1080p: the Sony AS200V.

Sony also has a new camera which shoots 4K: the Sony FDR-AX33. It is similar(ish) to the previously mentioned Panasonic cameras.

Canon and Nikon at CES 2015

Canon released a bunch of overpriced PowerShots that nobody cares about. Woohoo, way to go Canon… Nikon is releasing a new DSLR: the Nikon D5500 DSLR! It is ~24MP and can shoot 1080p at 60p. Seems overpriced for $900.

HP Curved 4K Screens

HP is releasing curved monitors. Curved makes sense for desktops. Not sure I am sold on curved TVs just yet (never seen one in person). Their 34 inch model, the Envy 34c ($999), sports a resolution of 3,440 x 1,440. Basically its like having two monitors side by side, except you pay 2x the cost. The 27 inch version is called the Pavilion 27c ($400) and is 1080p. A bit over priced considering 1080p @ 27 inches will result in fairly large pixels.

HP’s 4K monitors are better deals than their proposed curved screens; at 27 inches the Z27s ($750) is a fair deal, and at 24 inches the Z24s ($550) is meh. They also have a 27 inch 5K screen: Z27q (1,300). Paying 1.7x the price to jump up from 4K to 5K? I don’t think it makes sense. Why not just sport two 4K panels side by side for 2x the price?

Netflix HDR Streaming

Netflix is going to introduce HDR video. HDR stands for high dynamic range. Basically the dynamic range of cameras is usually not as good as the dynamic range of our human eyesight. What HDR does is show  color detail in dark areas as well as color detail in light areas of an image. This allows you to see a wider range of color detail throughout the picture. To benefit from this you will need to make sure you have an HDR compatible TV.

Nov 272014

Several nice deals are live right now:

  • SanDisk Extreme Plus 32GB $19.99 (80MB/s) SD Memory Card at Amazon. Anyone who shoots photos or video should get this. It is one of the highest quality SD cards you can get. Perfect for 4K video, or burst photos.


Panasonic Gh4 with optional YAGH unit.

Panasonic Gh4 with optional YAGH unit

  • Tons of decent deals at the Canon Store. From the Canon Refurbished Store, you can get the Canon 70D for $649, 70D with 18-55 IS STM kit for $749 or 70D with 18-135 IS STM kit for $799. Just the item(s) to your cart, and Canon will take off an extra $50 ($50 off $500 promo).
  • Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM Lens (Refurbished) is on sale for a low price of $599.99 with free shipping on Ebay via Adorama. Constant aperture, Image Stabilization, L series build quality, and warranty for only $600… Not bad.
  • B&H photo is selling the Sony A6000 (Body Only) for $448. It’s a nice little camera with great video capabilities.
  • Barnes & Noble has a 50% Off The Criterion Collection sale going on right now. Criterion Blu Rays and DVDs are %50 off, plus through Dec. 1st. you get an additional 30% off any single item when you use coupon code: BFRIDAY14. So you are able to get a nice Criterion Collection movie (or box set) for a historically low price.

Interested in other DSLR’s? Check out my recommended DSLRs on Amazon:

Panasonic Gh4 with optional YAGH unit.

Panasonic Gh4 with optional YAGH unit.


Nov 262014

Canon is offering $10 off $100, $25 off $250, $50 off 500 and $100 of $1,000. Click here to go to Canon’s store. I am kicking myself because I got impatient and ordered some refurbished gear off of Canon last week. Woulda saved me $25. /cry


They are also offering lens and DSLR rebates: $50 off the Canon 40mm STM, etc.. Check out the full Canon rebate list here. So, considering many refurbished lenses are %15-%30 off, and that you can get up to an extra 10% off, this Black Friday is not awful. Make sure to keep checking up on Canon’s website for inventory, stuff goes in and out of stock fast. Also, if you live in a place that gets taxed, you might be better off shopping at Amazon, Adorama, or B&H.

B&H is running a promo called Deal Zone where they clear out last years inventory. Audio recorders, camera bags, etc… huge savings on stuff. Definitely keep their Deal Zone page up in case they start giving something nice away.

Other 2014 Black Friday DSLR Deals

Also, Amazon is always full of surprises. I just picked up a Sandisk CF card with 80MB/s write speed for $20. They may match that deal on Thursday/Friday. Not to mention they are going to give away TV’s for dirt cheap tomorrow during their pre Black Friday lightning sale. Here is the page for their Black Friday Lightning Deals: Amazon Back Friday Lightning Deals. They will be selling:

Tamron AF 70-300mm f/4.0-5.6 Di LD Macro Zoom Lens Starts at 8:50 AM (Eastern Time).  Meh, similar to Canon’s uninspired 75-300mm, this baby lacks Image Stabilization. Check it out on Amazon.

Rokinon CV85M-C 85mm t/1.5 Aspherical Lens Starts at 10:50 AM (Eastern Time). Samyang/Rokinon have become crowd favorites for video use. They are manual lenses that are sharp and wonderful for pulling focus. Check it out on Amazon.

Manfrotto MB MA-BP-TL Advanced Tri Backpack, Large (Black) Starts at 11:50 AM (Eastern Time). If you read the reviews on B&H, this bag is very well regarded. Maybe I will snag one if the price is lower on Amazon than at B&H. Check it out on Amazon.
Nov 242014


The 64GB got sold out fast, so get the 32gig version while you can. Reads about 80MB/s and writes about 60MB/s making it a nice card for any photography needs, and most video needs. Sandisk is the #1 card chosen by photographers and videographers, because unlike most cards they don’t inflate their write/read speeds. If you are using a Canon Rebel, EOS-M, or a 60D this card will be fine for Magic Lantern Raw. If you have a 7D, 6D, 5D mkII, 5DmkIII, this card will work, but you may experience dropped frames. This card will also work fine with the GH4 or BlackMagic Pocket.

Buy it on Amazon, for only $20.

I don’t think you will find a better deal on CF cards than this, even on Black Friday. This card will only lag under the most extreme situations.

Nov 232014


The sexy, sleek, 4K capable, mirrorless, amazing, and now cheap! Panasonic LUMIX DMC-GH4 is available at Amazon and B&H for a great price: $1,397. Maybe it’s feeling a little heat from the Sony A7s? Anyway, I would be surprised if the Black Friday price is lower than this. $1,400 is a great deal on the body considering I have never seen the price go below $1,700 from a authorized seller. Hell, these go used on Ebay for $1400+.

If you are shooting video, nothing will come close to the GH4 for under $2,000. It smokes the 70D and the 6D and the 7DmkII. Only the Sony A7s and BlackMagic cameras compete with the GH4.

Anyway, sorry for the incessant ads, but it is the holiday season…

Nov 232014


tascam_dr_60dThis is a smoking deal, that will not be matched. B&H Photo is selling the Tascam DR-60D for a ridiculous price of $130. The deal will expire in less than 18 ohurs, so I would buy one. You can sell them used on Ebay for $150. So even if you hate this unit, you can sell it and not lose money. This baby was selling for $350 one and a half years ago. I actually bought one just now. Click here to check it out. Or check out the new Tascam DR-60DmkII selling for $200 on Amazon.

Nov 192014

The currently Canon rebates are set to expire on November 22 (which is before Black Friday) which means Canon will likely replace those discounts with new disocunts or similar refurbished deals. Here is what Canon has offered over the years:

Black Friday 2011: Canon offered lens rebates ranging from $20-$200.

Black Friday 2012: Canon refurbished lens sale: 20% off all lenses and up to %30 off DSLRs.

Black Friday 2013: Canon refurbished lens sale: 15% off all lenses and up to 25% off DSLRs.

Basically, you don’t usually see big discounts on new lenses. I predict that the lens prices we are accustom to seeing are the same prices we will see on Black Friday and Christmas. So the 40mm STM will probably go for $150, and the 135mm f/2 will go between $900 and $1,000. If you are looking for Black Friday deals on lenses, I suggest buying refurbished (via Canon’s store)  or used (Ebay).

Usually you can find better deals on DSLR’s than on lenses. Hmm… maybe Canon’s strategy is to get you to buy a DSLR during the holiday season, and then buy lenses throughout the winter spring and summer? Anyway it is safe to assume you will be able to get a 5D mkIII for under $2,500:

2014 Black Friday Canon 5D mkIII

Here is the EBay ad scan from2013. The price on the 5D mkIII was $2,445 shipped from an authorized reseller (not gray market, meaning you get the full Canon warranty). Also the T3i + 18-55mm seems like a very nice deal for $420. Although this year, you will be able to get a Canon T5 + 18-55mm + Canon 75-300 for $497, which is also a fair deal.


If we go back to 2012, the price for the Canon 5D mkIII was $2,500 shipped (gray market, I think). I’d say this was the best deal in the past few years.  You got a great camera, (with no warranty) for less than the 2014 going rate. So what do I expect for 2014? A $2,500 Canon 5D mkIII shipped  from an authorized retailer.

Other Canon Black Friday Deals to Expect

With the Canon 70D and 7D mkII being the top prosumer sellers, we may see some further price cuts to the 60D or 7D. The 60D has seen prices of $600 this year (upper $500’s ), and the 7D is currently at an all time low of $1,000, so I would definitely pounce on any deals bring the prices below those thresholds. The 6D is going strong, but last year saw a $1,600 price from an unauthorized seller on EBay, so I would expect similar this year. Again, the yearly refurbished sale is decent, it will probably be 15% off on lenses which kind of sucks, but who knows, maybe it will be 20%. And don’t forget you get free shipping from Canon’s store all the way until Dec. 31.

Nov 142014

The brand new 24mm STM is now shipping for a reasonable $150. The Canon 40mm STM was a huge success. Despite being priced almost 2x as much as the crowd favorite 50mm 1.8 it is highly recommended over the Nifty Fifty. Sharper, better bokeh, and better build quality. There are no doubts that the Canon 24mm STM will be just as great.  It is supposed to be sharper than the 40mm STM. The price, in my opinion, is remarkable; at $150 it might be the best bang for your buck Canon has to offer. I’ll be getting my hands on the 24mm STM shortly. Adorama, B and H Photo, and Canon are all shipping orders, with Amazon due to ship on November 24th.

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