Reviews on gear and software

TourBox Lite, this will change your workflow forever

Does the TourBox Lite change your workflow?

Last week we received the TourBox Lite for a review. In this blog, you’ll read how it changed my workflow.

Workflow importance

One of the things I always teach during workshops is workflow.
It might sound boring but having a proper workflow is essential to get not only consistent results but also to simply save time for other important things in life 😀

When we talk about workflow we often talk about settings and the order in which you edit in Lightroom, Photoshop, or your favorite editor.
But there is a lot more.

With the release of the iPad Pro I (and many with me) thought the world would change forever and we would not need laptops anymore… well a few months later I sold my oversized iPhone and closed that chapter. But many years later I bought the 11″ iPad Pro and that changed my workflow forever.

iPad Pro 12.9″

At the moment I’m using my iPad Pro 12.9 for almost 99% of my sessions in combination with Cascable to shoot tethered, and let’s be honest, especially on location, you can shoot all day with the iPad, it has more than enough light output for outside, it’s well protected against the elements and… well it’s not about the iPad today, but it’s a game changer. The iPad Pro is an important part of my workflow.

Retouching with the iPad and a laptop

For me, most of the time is spent on retouching. Like most of us, I love taking photos but retouching… well it has to be done. Don’t get me wrong it’s a lot of fun in most cases, but in a lot of other cases it’s something you have to do and the faster it can be done the better.

In the studio (and at home) when I work in a static setup I use my MacBookPro 14″ M1Pro connected to a 32″ BenQ monitor and retouching is done via an XP-pen drawing tablet (with screen), which works like a charm. But I have to sit behind my desk.

Sometimes I also want to edit on the couch. When traveling, in a hotel, and sitting behind a desk is not always ideal. Having a laptop with a touchpad is doable but not for everything. You just need more control sometimes, especially with selections or skin retouching.

Luckily Apple has a great solution for this.
You can connect your iPad to your MacBook and use it as an input device. In fact, I’m having my MacBookPro on the table and holding my iPad and Apple Pencil on my lap.

Full Photoshop on the iPad

Well ok, there is an app on the iPad called Photoshop. Although it gets better every release, it’s a far cry from the desktop version. So to do proper retouching I still need the full version of Photoshop (at the moment). This is where the connection between the iPad screen and MacOs works like a charm, there is however one HUGE disadvantage.

the iPad is an important part of my workflow

Where are my keys…. oh there

As you can see in the image the iPad mirrors the MacBook and when using an Apple Pencil retouching becomes really close to using a real drawing tablet. Some things are a bit “wonky” but overall it’s a huge improvement over using the touchpad and especially on location this is the biggest improvement in your workflow in years.

But…. we all know that for Photoshop we also need key input.
Try to use Photoshop just with a pen and you will within seconds find out that you can’t do anything. For almost everything, you need keystrokes. Now luckily Apple knows about this so they offer a floating “keyboard” with the most used keys like COMMAND, CRTL, SHIFT, SPACE, etc.

I don’t know about you, but I like it because there is nothing else. But it’s far from perfect. You don’t feel the keys, they take up space and on the iPad screen size is something I don’t want to sacrifice.

Hardware solutions

Over the years I’ve tried several input devices and although they all promise that you will speed up your workflow 10-fold and everything is easier and…. well you know what I mean. In real life, I never really found something that stayed.

Most of the devices I tried are too light, meaning they “walk” over my desk, adding some anti-slip feet helps but it’s something I have to add myself. Other devices were not well-formed which meant I had to move my hand too much and because most buttons had the same form I still needed to look at the device, which made the device useless for me because I could as easily just use a keyboard.

The TourBox Lite changed my workflow

The TourBox Lite changed my workflow

TourBox Lite (2024)

I think I found the perfect solution to improve my workflow.
A left-handed device (yes, read on if you’re like me right-handed). that just hits the nail on the head.

The TourBox Lite is the newest addition to the TourBox family and retails for just under $100 which in my opinion is a very critical price point.

When unboxing the first thing that caught my attention was the weight.
You expect something from that size to be a lot lighter, now I’m not saying it’s TOO heavy, in fact, it’s perfect.
It doesn’t move around on my desk and it’s light enough to carry around easily in your backpack.

At first glance compared to some other products you might think “There are not a lot of buttons there”.
But let’s be totally honest with each other.
This is NOT a keyboard replacement, it’s a workflow device, and when you look closely at what you really need I have to be honest that I don’t really miss any buttons.


TourBox Lite workflow advantages

One of the cool things about the TourBox series is that you can add app 100 actions to the buttons.
They make this possible by using combinations and also double clicks.

I’ve been testing the TourBox Lite for a few days now and for example, in Logic Pro I’m using the double click on the play button. One time means STOP/PLAY but double click means GO BACK TO START. This is an action you use all the time and having it under one button is just genius and feels very natural.

For Final Cut Pro and Lightroom/Photoshop, I’m using the scroll wheels to zoom in and out and change the brush size and that speeds up your mobile workflow a lot.

TourBox lite console

More options

I started this blog post with a story about how the iPad changed my workflow and the TourBox Lite is for me a huge upgrade. I can now just leave my laptop on the table (or floor) and use the iPad Pro with Apple Pencil and the TourBox Lite to work through my whole session without ever needing to touch my laptop. This is huge 😀

But when I’m not using the iPad Pro for retouching I still have it next to my MacBookPro and use it for almost all software I use. The fun thing is that with the other devices I tested I always found out after a few minutes I was using the keyboard and actually forgot that I also had another input device.

The TourBox Lite is designed for left-handed use, and that’s genius.
I’m mostly holding my XP-pen or Apple Pencil in my right hand and my left hand is free to operate the keyboard. But also when adjusting parameters when using Logic Pro and holding a guitar, having the right hand free to hit the strings and the left hand to adjust is really comfortable.

Of course, you can use other devices also with your left hand. But this is I think where I like the TourBox Lite more. Because I don’t have to move my hand. I position it and it hardly has to move. Another huge advantage is that all buttons feel slightly different. My other device uses mostly the same buttons where you have to put stickers under to see what you’re doing. Well in a dark studio, this already doesn’t work and often ends in frustration. And that you only use the dials and buttons on the keyboard, which I think is not the way it should be 😀

So many options, so little time

You probably already picked up that we can program A LOT of combinations but how do you remember everything?
For me, that’s always been a problem.
When I start with a new software suite I try to first learn the most important keystrokes. And luckily it’s often pretty straightforward. But even with a normal keyboard, especially at the start, you have to sometimes look up the keystrokes.

With these kinds of devices for me, that’s always a problem. On the keyboard, I can mostly find my most used keystrokes but when you use several suites at the same time it can become really messy with input devices.

The TourBox software has a really nice option where you can link software to the TourBox. This means as soon as you open the software it will open the preset on your TourBox too. This makes it easy to switch between software but doesn’t solve my problem of remembering what is what.

You can of course just try or maybe even have the editor open on another screen, but I actually love the way TourBox chose to use a HUD solution that can be customized, moved around, and setup exactly the way you like.

When you press a button it will also show up in the HUD.
Now in most cases you will probably only use the HUD for a few days or weeks, after which it should probably be a matter of feel and muscle memory.

In conclusion, did the TourBox Lite change my workflow?

The new 2024 TourBox Lite is a very interesting input device.
It’s small enough to be used on the couch with your iPad. But it has enough buttons and combinations to even help with more complicated workflows.

The price point is spot on, but you sacrifice a bleutooth connection and some extra buttons that you can find on the Elite. But if you have no problem with working with a USB-C cable, I don’t see an issue there.

Are there things to improve…?

Yes of course 😀
I would love to see a small backlight at the buttons. I mostly work in light-controlled areas which means that the TourBox is located next to my keyboard in the studio and there is hardly any light hitting that area. Because all the buttons feel different it’s not a big deal, but it would be nice, and shouldn’t be a problem seeing the TourBox Lite is connected via USB-C anyway.

For me, the TourBox Lite hits the nail on the head.
It has enough buttons, the right price point, great software, auto switching apps, HUD, and of course well designed so you can use it with one hand and minimal movements (great for long hours of work).

I lost my interest in this kind of devices but this one has shown me that it can be done right.

Also, want a Tour box?

When you use this link for your order, you also support our work: TourBox Lite

For BenQ we have a 10% discount code for European customers, if you are in the market for a new monitor, drop us an email for the discount code.


I was sent the TourBox Lite by TourBox to check out.
ALL reviews I make are 100% my real opinion and not motivated by manufacturers, our readers demand and deserve a real and honest review and that’s what I do.

That beautiful old glamour light, nothing like it.

I’ve always loved one certain lightsource.

The Fresnel
It’s actually a funny story, one of the first times I demo’ed during a trade show I was actually using a Fresnel as a prop and also several demos as a main light source. And although at that moment in time I was not really yet into the more classical looks I immediately fell in love with the awesome look of the Fresnel.

The look of the Fresnel is really hard to describe (that’s why I use images), but it’s almost immediately recognizable.
Think about almost all the old black and white (and later color) images from the movie stars from the golden era and you immediately know what I mean right… well that era was dominated by the Fresnel look, you found them everywhere in studios. But now a days I hardly see them anymore. Mostly due to price but also I think because people just don’t know the funny looking Fresnel.

I always describe it like a mix between a very hard light source and a nice soft beauty light effect (told you it was unique and hard to describe)
The main thing about the Fresnel is however that it’s not a light source you can use in one way, you can actually zoom the modifier to create a wider or more narrow beam of light, but in some Fresnels you will also get a very nice/nasty spot in the center of the light which can be terrible (just zoom back a little) but if you really want to draw the attention to a model and she/he is sitting still it can work great.

As you probably guessed by now the main thing about the Fresnel is the lens. You probably already have several Fresnels in for example your speedlights, although often in speedlights they are more rectangular, or if you’re an avid nature photographer you might once experimented with a Fresnel lens in front of your speedlight to “throw” the light a lot further and lighting birds or other wild life on distances you normally could never use a strobe. The Fresnel makes it possible due to the unique design of the lens, and the fact (with studio lights) you can zoom the lightsource to create totally different looks depending on how the light hits the Fresnel.

On the other side of the spectrum (zoom the other way) you get a much wider and beautiful hard/soft quality of light. It does give deep crisp shadows but not with the intense look you can get when using a reflector with grid. It’s a more friendly light source with a bite 😀

Now you might wonder :
“why didn’t you use it more before?”
Very valid question.
The thing a lot of people don’t realise is that 95% of my portfolio is shot during the workshops I teach, events we visit for workshops etc. And when I teach I don’t think it’s very handy to demo setups with modifiers that nobody can afford, yes indeed a Fresnel can be incredibly expensive.

Nanlite Fresnel
Recently I started testing the Geekoto strobes and because these use a Bowens mount I was looking at modifiers and actually found that Nanlite was selling a really nice looking Fresnel for under 150,00 euros which is pretty cheap seeing I bought a theater spot online for 150,00 used and using that one with strobes is far from a working solution, well ok it works but it’s not something you easily setup, using two stands te be able to zoom for example 😀 so the idea of having something that works like a Fresnel for under 150,00 really caught my attention. So we ordered one.

The images you see in this blog post are all done with the Fresnel as main light source and as you can see they have that really nice Hollywood like style light quality.

For portraits like these the Fresnel is a great lightsource.
Add some accent lights for extra depth and you can keep them in color or convert them to Black and White, whatever your taste, the Fresnel will look great.

But it doesn’t stop with portraits.
I also love to use it for a more rough looking full body shots agains for example seamless. The shadows are very defined and sharp and you can play with them by angling the light and really create a nice combination of model and shadow.

As you can see here the Nanlite Fresnel has more than enough reach to light a full body model from app 3 meters distance, and the cool thing is of course that if you can really fine tune the look of your images by simply zooming the Fresnel.

Lets take a look at a few more images I shot with our model and awesome stylist Nadine.
All done with the Fresnel as main light.

But let’s take a quick look at the next blog post.
Because believe it or not, I used the Fresnel also for these shots….

For me the Fresnel is one of those light sources a lot of people don’t really know about but when they see it…. let me put it this way, since I’ve been using it several students immediately bought one after the workshop. So I think it was a logical solution to also add the Fresnel to our webshop.

On our webshop you can find of course our tutorials, books and presets, but also our own products IQwire tether cables (5-10mtrs), ClickPropsBackdrops, Rogue, Expoimaging and Geekoto but we also created a special category for the Nanlite accessories I’m using myself.

Here is a link straight to the Fresnel.
We can ship it ourselves in the Benelux, for outside orders check the Nanlite website for dealers in your area.

Our Geekoto GT200 on the Nanlite Fresnel


Yolobox pro live review

What’s in name…
When I hear the name Yolobox it’s not a professional device that pops into my mind, but as mentioned what’s in a name.

We’ve been live streaming for as long as I can remember.
It all started many years ago via special live-streaming software (YouTube didn’t support live streaming at that moment) and a webcam. I would start in the morning with placing the webcam in the makeup room with the model, after that we took the same camera and moved it to the studio to show the photoshoot. All via 1 camera, and the cool thing…. people were staying online the whole day, interacting, sharing ideas and chatting with each other and me. Sometimes someone fell asleep due to time differences, but it was an awesome experience.

Oh did I mention our internet speed at that time was app 0.5 up (if the wind was right).
Fast forward at least 15 years and we are now surfing the internet with a blazingly fast fiber connection of 160/160 and… we are still live streaming.

One webcam has morphed into 4 cameras inside the studio and one extra camera for me behind the desk.
During the live stream people can also see my desktop via another input device and of course picture in picture screens in different sizes. And of course people can interact plus we are streaming live on Facebook and YouTube simultaneous where people can directly interact.

For our live streams we use a pretty nice setup (if I may say so).
We have our HDMI’s coming into a RGB minilink which is connected to an external screen to show the previews. Software wise we are running Wirecast on my MacBook Pro and we also use an external monitor on this setup for the comments and the preview of YouTube studio.
Works like a charm and we are super flexible, but I can’t show retouching on my laptop while Wirecast is running without live stream issues when I use more demanding plugins.

Enter the Yolobox Pro
Let me start with a warning.
When I do a review, paid or not (in this case not) I’m brutally honest.
This means that I will not sugarcoat problems I encounter, but also take into account that those are often problems that I encounter in OUR situation, so make sure to take that into account. I just feel a review should be just that, and with a proper review there will always be positives and negatives.

During a recent dealer event I met up with the Dutch distributor of the Yolobox and really liked what I saw so we asked for a review unit. Today the review.
Although that you probably already guessed.

So what is the Yolobox pro?
In short you can get rid of all other hardware (except the cameras of course) and stream straight from one device.
Sounds way to good to be true right?
Well, now a days a lot it possible so why not and let’s be honest having one small device that does it all sounds absolutely awesome, so I could not wait till I could start testing.

Some cool things
Let’s start by looking at some things that I find very interesting in the Yolobox Pro.

First of all you can connect 3 HDMI sources.
This was my first problem I encountered with the Yolobox pro.
But there is a very easy solution. For our Digital Classroom setup I’m using a Magewell capture device for my iPad/Desktop and the Yolobox Pro also sports an USB input port, so I tested the Magewell with an 1080P camera and that worked like a charm, also my iPad and Desktop worked without any problems.
This means that you can work with 4 different sources, which for most people should be more than enough.

Zoom meetings
Since the Pandemic we are doing more online than ever, and you see that a lot of meetings are now also held online instead of going into the office. But as a teacher I also often encounter problems with streaming services for clients. Some clients are ok when we stream via YouTube on our account, but sometimes we also are asked to use dedicated software, and trust me some of them are really really limiting, often a webcam and if you’re lucky your desktop and that’s about it. But don’t worry, the Yolobox pro can output its video stream not only via HDMI but also via an USB output port and …yes it works in Zoom, Teams etc. it just things you’re using a webcam. So next time you will blow everyone away with stunning presentations, green screens and layovers, zoom effects…. oh sorry got carried a way a bit…..

Of course you need effects during the livestream, and the Yolobox Pro doesn’t disappoint.
You can chose some nice fade effects, create “custom” overlays, change the borders and backgrounds inside the Picture in Picture screens and you can even overlay score cards, social media comments etc. they have a lot of options that should be more than sufficient for everyone.

One of the things I love about Wirecast (but didn’t yet use) is to invite a guest.
You can just give them a link via the build in Guest module and during the live stream the guest just has to click there and he/she is live with you.
If you want to travel light and have internet you could use this function to use 1-2 extra phones as cameras, do make sure you disable audio for those phones if you don’t want them to be mics.

But we are not done yet.
Audio is of course incredibly important, and boy does the YoloBox Pro understand this.
I love it when you can setup audio the correct way and although there is no support for plugins like a compressor/limiter or de-esser at least you can setup the audio per input and use delay per channel (well done) and even use an auto follow method. Very nice.

With the Yolobox Pro it’s also possible to stream to several services at the same time. And you don’t need the YouTube live stream studio to be open (to go live) with the internal software, that is a huge plus, you can also use the RTMP service option if you want to do something besides the included services.

Green Screen
Maybe you need it, maybe you don’t but it’s awesome it’s inside a one box solution, and it works like a charm 😀
Just put a green piece of paper or whatever behind you and select a cool background and you’re there…. well ok you know what I mean.

This function I absolutely love.
During the live stream people often ask questions, with the Yolobox Pro you can chose to show the comments in the live stream. And the selecting or deselecting works really well. I always would advise to not show every comment, some people can’t handle the option to share their “opinion” during a live stream if you know what I mean, and editing it out later is often not possible. Luckily selecting the comments is super simple.


My conclusion
One might think that it’s impossible to replace a laptop with a lot of outboard gear for just one box, and well let me be honest, it is.
BUT, let’s take a look at why and if it’s really a problem.

For Digital Classroom I could replace everything when we look at sources.
I could work with 3 cameras and the iPad.
I would need a small switch for the desk camera, but this is no problem because the desk camera is never used when I’m shooting, and a cheap HDMI switch can even be used without power.

Also the overlays are great and I can’t imagine needing different ones or more designs. Of course it’s nice to have options but the options they give you are really versatile.

GreenScreen is not something we use but if you do I can say that the quality is great, it’s easy to setup and for streaming it looks great.

The comments as mentioned in the review are a real cool addition and in todays market it’s actually something that should be included. The way it’s done in the YoloBox Pro makes it super simple to operate even during a hectic live stream.

Batterylife it more than enough for a 2 hour live stream, but I would highly advise to have power available just to be safe, but a 2 hour stream was no problem at all, we still had juice left.

The operation of the box is a breeze, you don’t really need a manual.
You start with a blank canvas and can add sources and this is where it goes wrong for me.
To add a source you select the source from a menu and it’s added to the main page. When you start to stream switching between these sources is super easy and fast. But this is also a huge limitation which I personally can’t work around.

As mentioned before we use 3 cameras and an iPad on the YoloBox Pro.
But the selection is limited to pairs.
Meaning if I want to show all 3 cameras picture in picture with my iPad this is not possible.
I can select 2 Picture in Picture options side by side, but after that you can’t select more (they are greyed out as soon as you select one), so for the third camera you would need to choose a different picture in picture mode, and this where it shows the biggest limit.

The side by side options are ok. You can’t change the size of the windows, but they just take up 50% of the screen with room on the top and bottom where you can show a nice background. So far so good. But the other picture in picture options are not usable for me. The small Picture in Picture will always be projected on top of the active screen meaning in photoshop I will block certain menus that are vital, and because you can’t change the layout to be next to each other (slightly smaller main screen and small extra) it doesn’t make sense to use that for presentations or retouching.

Also the other Picture in Picture options must have looked nice on paper but are useless in real life, I can’t imagine anyone being able to work with 3 cameras next to each other but only showing a rectangular slide of video, this is impossible for the videooperator but also for the presenter who has to stay exactly in that space and the video operator will have to use a slider on the preview to know what is seen on the screen and remove that again when the video switches to another view. For static setups this might work, but I don’t think for anything else.

The same problem I have with videos.
Digital classroom uses a bumper to start, and that takes up one video spot.
But during the broadcast I also show at least 4-5 videos during the setup switch and if I have to visit the little room in the studio. With the YoloBox Pro I can’t add more than 2 videos so I have to be really fast or stitch 2-3 videos in a row which would limit my break to one. Or show the same commercials twice, or switch the commercials very fast during a live stream, meaning if you do something wrong the commercials start to play.

BUT… that being said
I absolutely LOVE the YoloBox Pro it’s awesome to see that with only one device I can go live during events, trade shows, in the middle of a location shoot and while traveling with the RV, as long as I have Internet I’m ready to go (using my phone as a hotspot).

It’s not a cheap solution, but it opens up so many possibilities for going live it’s mind boggling and I’m 100% sure that I would have used it during live shows or location shoots.

If you want streaming to be complete and simple but most of all being able to stream from most locations the YoloBox series is really well fitted for these tasks with the Pro giving you the most connections and options I think it could replace a laptop with Wirecast without any problems in most situations. For us the only limitations would be the video sources and the picture in picture solutions.

But let’s take one thing into account, because I’m not 100% fair here.
I also connected our RGB minilink to the YoloBox and that opens up a boatload of options.
We now have 7 sources and I only need one Picture in Picture source when I switch all the cameras via the RGB minilink. The only problem with this solution is that you will need an extra monitor for the switcher unless you own a switcher with a display like the RGB minilink. And we still have the issue that the picture in picture option is not sizeable. But the combi of switcher and YoloBox totally changes the game for people that need more cameras and Picture in Picture options. By using the external switcher you also have much better control over your cameras and you can also use the options from your switcher.

The Yolobox Pro is literally a hub for the demanding streamer.
On location you take just the box and in the studio I would personally couple it with our RGB minilink to get even more inputs and control. There is only one feeling you get when working with the YoloBox pro…… real enjoyment

HIGHLY recommended.
But do check if you can live with the video limit and picture in picture options.
We did mention this to the manufacturer and got the reply that they are working on this and it would appear in a future upgrade possibly.


Shooting models in the sun with Geekoto Off-Camera Flash

Geekoto is the perfect off-camera flash to get full control over your light. In the studio and on location!  Read more about shooting models in the sun with Geekoto Off-Camera Flash.


During the location in Emmeloord workshop with Claudia, it was the first time I used the Geekoto GT200 and GT250 during a workshop. I only shot the first set with the set with Geekoto and after that, we switched over to the powerful Hensel Porty System which images I will upload tomorrow. The weather was great. So, we had to shoot model Claudia in the bright sun with Geekoto Off-Camera Flash.

Yes, the Hensel Porty system is with its 1200W and large reflectors a lot more powerful, but for those small strobes, the Geekoto’s surprised all the attendees including myself.

We started with just using the Geekoto and a reflector on the Bowens mount.
Now I have to add it was very sunny.

As you can see it’s pretty easy to push away the ambient light, and it’s easy shooting models in the sun with Geekoto Off-Camera Flash. And this was not even on full power but actually on almost the lowest setting, adding a reflector with highly reflective material really helps a lot.

For the next set, Claudia only moved to another angle where the sun was a bit more challenging especially because I decided to also add a red gel and our Rogue dome to the setup, now you have to realize that adding a gel will take away a considerable amount of light, but as you can see in the results, the system had no problem keeping the mood I wanted.

Now the original idea for us was to use the Geekoto system as a replacement for our Nissin system making it easier for me to demonstrate our Rogue products during trade shows and workshops/events on location where you would normally need speedlights. But the Geekoto’s impressed us so much for the price that we decided to go a few steps further.

Starting next week we will be the official distributor for the Benelux for them.
We are building the website and will add the products to our shop this weekend, so if you want to order please send us an email or wait till we add them to the shop in the coming days.

For the time being, we have built the pages