The Ultimate Sony RX100 Mark V Bundle

As much as I appreciate my Canon 80D and how it's helped me create higher quality video content, it was time to invest in another camera that would enable me to create even more content. I have decided to finally check out the highly anticipated Sony RX100 Mark V — a camera that seems to be quite popular amongst YouTubers.

While the Sony RX100 Mark V is still selling for a very expensive $948 on Amazon, it's apparently incredible at what it does. From its new lightning fast autofocus system to 4K recording capabilities, I'm excited to see what the RX100 does for my content creation. But if only the camera wasn't so damn expensive...

Similar to when I bought my Canon 80D, I decided to go the bundle route with the RX100. Needless to say, I'm so glad I did. For just $10 extra, opting for the RX100 bundle has given me so much more in the box than I would normally get if I bought the camera alone.

Below is an overview of everything included in the particular Sony RX100 Mark V bundle I purchased via Amazon:

Sony RX100 Mark V - Of course, the bundle includes the RX100 itself, as well as any other accessories that were officially packaged by Sony.

2x NP-BX1 Batteries - Per my research, the RX100 doesn't offer the best battery life, so having a spare battery or two is a must. This bundle includes two spare batteries, giving you three batteries total.

Battery Charger - What good are lithium batteries without a battery charger?

SanDisk 64GB Extreme Memory Card - SanDisk is a favorite brand of mine for memory cards. 64GB is also a sweet spot, providing you with plenty of space for storing photos and videos

Corel PaintShop Pro X9 - Worth $45 alone, PaintShop Pro X9 is professional-level photo editing software that offers a ton of features and tools that can be used to improve your photography.

Ultimaxx Pro Camera Case - This is just a basic camera case, but at least it's something to get you started. After all, you don't want to risk damaging or losing a camera that costs nearly $1,000.

12-inch Rubberized Spider Tripod - Setting up the shot while on the go will be easier thanks to this 12-inch portable tripod. It features an adjustable angle and rubberized grip for handheld usage.

Mini Tabletop Tripod - Get the perfect shot using this basic mini tripod that will take up hardly any space.

Beach Camera SD Memory Card Reader - Insert your SD card into this USB compatible reader to import photos and videos.

Micro-HDMI to HDMI Cable - Output your photos and videos to any TV or monitor that supports HDMI.

Vivitar Tri-fold Memory Card Wallet - Keep track of your memory cards using this organizer.

LCD Screen Protectors - Included with the bundle are three screen protectors to shield the screen on your RX100 from being damaged.

LCD/Lens Cleaning Pen - Easily clean the RX100's display or lens with this included cleaning tool.

Lens Cleaning Kit - This 3-piece kit includes a small bottle of cleaning solution, a microfiber cloth, and several cotton swabs.

Beach Camera Microfiber Cleaning Cloth - Pretty self explanatory.

I'm just getting started with my coverage of the Sony RX100 Mark V, as I plan to record several videos in the coming weeks. If you are interested in staying up to date, please sign up for my email list below. Also, keep an eye on my YouTube channel.

Why 144hz (or 120Hz) Is the Way to Go for Gaming

For quite a while, I would occasionally get people asking when I'm going to invest in my first 144Hz monitor. As a gamer who had clearly never taken the time to research the topic, I usually dismissed the idea and said I was happy with what I have — and that's true. I'm typically pleased with the tech that I own. But then something happened...

I decided to finally look into 144Hz monitors, so I eventually came across the Dell S2716DG. And that's when my interest suddenly piqued. Having read several reviews on Amazon and watching a handful of YouTube videos, I knew I had to check this thing out for myself.

Before we get into why I cannot recommend going with a monitor that has a refresh rate lower than 120Hz, check out my unboxing video of the Dell S2716DG below:

So, what's so special about a monitor's refresh rate — and what does it mean, exactly? The refresh rate of your monitor is a calculation of how quickly it refreshes the image within one second. For example, a 60Hz monitor refreshes the image 60 times every second. Replace that number with a refresh rate of 120 or 144, and you get the point.

The faster the refresh rate, the smoother performance you'll experience. And believe me, going from 60Hz to 144Hz is a massive upgrade. It's the same feeling I experienced when I first used the iPad Pro with ProMotion. Everything in general, gaming especially, appears more natural and lifelike.

Having used my 144Hz monitor for a few days now, below are some interesting points you might find enticing:

  • Whether you're gaming or not, performance is significantly better that I had originally imagined
  • 144Hz is far smoother than anything I've experienced with 60Hz
  • 1ms response time is excellent, and especially useful when gaming
  • Adjustable height and angle controls are easy to use
  • Thin bezel allows for seamless integration with other low-profile monitors
  • Quality 27-inch display for less than $500

It's also important to note that despite the Dell S2716DG using a TN panel and not IPS, you can hardly ever notice. Colors appear to be quite vibrant, viewing angles are forgiving, and build quality in general is something to be appreciated.

Oh, and you know what? I've been enjoying the monitor so much that I decided to buy a second one. Check out a preview of my dual 144Hz monitor setup:

Are you interested in buying the Dell 2716DG for yourself? Check it out on Amazon. You'll be glad you did.

12 Photos Taken Using the Samsung Galaxy Note 8

As an everyday iOS user, I have always admired the kinds of photos that are produced using Android phones — at least within recent years, anyway. For me, it all started with my first Android phone, the LG G4. Watch my review here.

So, what's special about the cameras on Android phones? In my experience, they tend to capture photos with great attention to contrast and overall sharpness. iOS devices, on the other hand, go for a softer, more natural look. Both styles of photography are great for different reasons. It simply comes down to personal preference and the results you are looking to get.

Focusing on the Samsung Galaxy Note 8, I am happy to say that my fascination with Android phones continues. I have been having an absolute blast with the cameras on the Note 8. Combine them with Snapseed, my favorite mobile app for editing photos, and you've got yourself an incredible experience that all creatives are sure to enjoy.

Below are 12 photos that I shot using the Note 8. All edits were processed in post using Snapseed.

One particular quality I've noticed with the Note 8 is its ability to capture an impressive amount of detail in low-light situations. This certainly cannot be said for all phones, so props to Samsung for pulling this off. It's also worth noting that the Note 8 uses a dual-lens camera system on its rear, with each lens supporting optical image stabilization.

I plan to delve deeper with the cameras on the Note 8 in the coming days. In the meantime, feel free to check out my "8 Things I Like About the Samsung Galaxy Note 8" video below.

5 Fun Desk Accessories Every Workaholic Needs

As a self-employed content creator, my days can sometimes feel long. Most of my time is spent sitting at a desk and staring at a monitor. While that's not necessarily a bad thing, there are those moments where I could use a pick-me-up. This is often achieved by focusing on a product or two that I choose to place on my desk.

The following are five items that I personally own and use myself. Perhaps you can use them to introduce some creativity into your daily workflow.

Google Home

Currently selling for $129, the Google Home is Google's answer to Amazon's Echo — often referred to as Alexa. The virtual home assistant uses Google to reference all kinds of information, making it quite useful on a whim. If research is your thing, then this definitely gives it the upper hand over the Echo.

Despite its small size, the Google Home puts out some decent audio. The highs and lows all sound great. And the bass? It's surprisingly impressive.

You can even customize the Google Home by purchasing additional bases. They are available in six varieties: Fabric/Mango, Fabric/Marine, Fabric/Violet, Metal/Carbon, Metal/Copper, and Metal/Snow

Divoom Aurabox Smart LED Speaker

If you're looking to add a bit of fun to your desk, then you are going to love the Aurabox Smart LED Speaker from Divoom. Being marketed as the world's first pixel art speaker, I didn't exactly buy this to play music on. Sure, that's great for some users, but I bought it for one reason...

Lights! When paired with an iOS or Android device, the Aurabox can display user-generated patterns and animations — as well as a few that are pre-programmed out of the box. It can also display social media notifications for Twitter and Facebook.

You can buy the Aurabox on Amazon for just $39. For me, it was easily worth the price. But then again, I'm a sucker for anything that uses LEDs.

Fake Plant

What better way to introduce some color into your setup than buy a fake plant? Yes, I'm being serious. This seems to be a trend nowadays, and I can easily see why.

First off, displaying a fake plant creates a nice accent — something that stands out from everything else. It provides balance. Because who doesn't enjoy a bit of color?

And secondly, you don't have to water it! As silly as that may sound, it's my favorite part about owning a fake plant. There's no responsibility involved whatsoever. Set the plant on your desk and just forget about it. I mean, you can water it if you want, but I don't suggest doing that.

Beverage Coasters

If you're like me, then you absolutely need some kind of beverage by your side while you work. For me, it's usually coffee. But of course, I'm not going to risk damaging my desk with spilled liquids. That's why I use a coaster.

Currently, I'm using a set of floppy disk coasters. They're affordable and they do their job. Oh, and they're geeky as hell. If floppy disks aren't your thing, there are so many more options available. Check out a few sets below that might grab your interest:

Vinyl Record Coasters | Super Mario Bros. Coasters | Elements Glowing Coasters

LED Strip Light Kit

If there is one way to ultimately improve the overall look of your desk, it would be to install an LED lighting kit. Typically sold as a reel of LEDs that is waterproof and flexible, you can cut the strip and adjust it to your liking. This is especially useful when working with desks of different sizes.

Having owned several LED kits over the years, my newest one is from OxyLED. I bought it for just $15. It's easily worth every penny. The kit also includes a remote, allowing you to change the colors of the LEDs and set up custom presets.

It's time to get creative! If you have a photo of your desk that you'd like to share with the community, simply comment below with a link. I'm always up for discovering new ideas to add to one of my many setups.

5 Things I Cannot Vlog Without

Having recently wrapped up my longest series yet on YouTube (watch "Seaside Heights 2017" here), it dawned on me that I've never taken the time to explain the gear I use to create my vlogs. While my camera rig doesn't compare to the bigger YouTubers who have millions of subscribers, it has certainly come a long way in recent years.

In other words, gone are the days of using a camcorder to vlog. Going the DSLR route has dramatically improved the overall quality of my videos — in not only video, but audio as well.

To make things easy, I've created a new kit dedicated to my vlogging gear. It's simply called My Vlogging Gear. Click on anything that interests you and Kit will automatically take you to the respective Amazon product page.

So, what makes up my vlogging gear? Just five items. Yep, that's it. Five. Let's go over each of them.

Canon EOS 80D

Simply put, the Canon 80D is the best camera I have ever bought myself. Really, it's that good. The video quality it produces is amazing, it's compatible with hundreds of lenses, and my favorite of all — the autofocus is surprisingly fast. I'm talking camcorder-like speeds.

Of course, some of this comes down to the lens that I am using (more on that in a bit), but the camera in general is just incredible. It's easily worth the $1,100 price tag, and that's only for the body alone. Yeah, it's a little pricey, but I can assure you the investment is more than worth it. I don't see myself upgrading to another DSLR any time soon.

Canon EF-S 10–18mm f/4.5–5.6 IS STM Lens

I'm not one to obsess over lenses, mainly due to the fact that I have only used a few in my time. However, if there is one lens you need to give a try, it's this one. The Canon EF-S 10–18mm IS STM lens puts out stellar wide-angle shots and uses STM (STepping Motor) technology to produce an ultra quick autofocus without creating noise.

And finally, the price isn't bad. Selling for around $270, there is no better lens in this price range. I think you'll be impressed.

Watch an example video of mine here.

RØDE VideoMic Pro

Before I praise this microphone, it's important to note that RØDE has recently released a newer version that I do not yet own. I plan on buying it at some point. Okay, with that out of the way...

The RØDE VideoMic Pro is an excellent mic that plugs directly into the camera's mic-in jack. Powered by a 9V battery, you can typically expect around 70 hours of run time. Because it uses its own battery, this takes some stress away from the camera itself.

Audio quality is exceptional, just as long as you're attempting to capture anything that is directly in front of the mic. Shotgun mics are designed to work this way, so keep that in mind when recording. Also, be sure to properly configure your camera's settings. It likely will not be set up by default.

Manfrotto PIXI Mini Tripod

I often say this is the best $25 you can spend as a video creator, and I still stand by these words. The Manfrotto PIXI Mini Tripod is so simple and reliable, you'll end up asking yourself how you never owned one to begin with.

The PIXI Mini is a miniature size tripod that can be easily opened and closed whenever needed. It features a push button ball head, allowing for flexible adjustment in camera angles. And of course, the PIXI Mini comes in a variety of colors — hence why I already own four of them. What can I say? It's an addiction.

Just buy yourself one. You'll be glad you did.

Transcend 64GB SDXC-UHS Memory Card

Don't let all that mumbo jumbo mess with your head. This is simply a high-speed SD card that does its job well. There's really no other way to describe it.

Although, I will say that Transcend is my preferred brand for SD cards. It has been for years now, ever since I started creating YouTube videos.

And that's it! Those are the five items I cannot imagine myself without, at least while vlogging. My other style of videos can sometimes require different gear, but nothing too out of the ordinary.

Do you have a question about anything I featured today? Don't forget, you can find all five items on Kit, as well as many other products that are featured in my videos regularly.