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Samsung s22 ultra video

One of the things that I found very interesting during the Samsung presentation about video at low light. And indeed their video looked awesome but lets be honest that was professionally lit 😉

For me it’s important that in real life situations i end up with usable video for behind the scenes videos. Those videos don’t have to be the best quality ever but it must be possible to see what’s going on.

Now one could say “why not use a Sony a7riv or a7s and a fast lens?” And you are absolutely right. Those cameras will blow the Samsung away in every situation but when we film material for the vlog we love to work with something really small and lightweight and preferably with a good microphone so I can quickly turn it on, press record and done…

For me the vlog should be a bit more raw and “real life” than tutorials (for which we do use the Sony cameras)

At the moment we’ve been using an osmo pocket which is…ok. Image quality is acceptable during the studio (low light) scenes and great outside, also the audio is ok. But I dont like the fact it’s fragile so we always have to carry it around in a case and take it out when using. Or leave it around your neck. And also the monitor on the back is ok for aiming but it’s not really accurate.

If it would be possible to replace the osmo pocket with a phone that would be great. So I decided to test the Samsung ultra out during the workshop smoke and gels with our model Felisa.

I have to be honest this was a worst case scenario. Using smoke mostly messes up the focus and using saturated gels are always killing video quality. Plus we didn’t use any extra lighting so all the lights you see are the modelling lights and because we mixed strobes with leds they were on the lower settings. This is also why the red leds are totally blowing out the video 😉

If you look at the video inside the studio it isn’t pretty but I have to say that on the HDR setting there was a lot more detail in both shadows and highlights outside and a slight advantage inside. For YT I changed the output to REC709 4k which did limit the dynamic range slightly (only visible outside)

What surprised me about the Samsung was the image stabilisation. On the screen it already looked good but in the video it really became clear that we are getting to a point that this becomes a real alternative to a gimble.

The slight vertical movement can easily be removed in your video editing software. But what you see in the video is all without any adjustments. What I did correct was the awful red color which looked more magenta than red. Luckily this only happened in the darker scenes and outside the reds were a lot better as you can see in the video. Although the overall look is not 100% accurate and oversaturated but it’s all correctable.

Also the audio is interesting. In pro mode you can select omni, front, back for the phone itself. But also external mics and even a mix option. Now that’s impressive.

The audio quality itself is ok. Good enough for a quick vlog type video but I think it’s too thin for anything longer or music. I’ll be testing using the Galaxy buds pro with the next vlog to see how that works but in essence audio should be absolutely no problem with all these options. (and you can always use an external recorder)

Conclusion

I see video in two categories for us. The tutorials we film in the studio under proper lighting and with different angles etc.

But also the vlog style videos where it would be best to work with as little gear as possible. You have to drag it around all day. Take chargers with you etc. This quickly takes away the fun and spontaneous effect.

With the ultra 22 samsung delivers a phone with a great camera system for social media but also with the video I think they hit a home run. Yes the video is far from perfect in low light BUT you can see what’s going on and the image stabilisation is awesome making videos easier to watch 😉

I think we are going to sell the osmo pocket soon 😉

You can watch the vlog here : https://youtu.be/ONVRELH3qbU

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra first camera test

It’s not secret that companies promise you the world when they want you to buy their products.
I remember one for the first smartphones I bought and the response from the seller was “you’ll never need another camera anymore, yes it’s that good, I don’t use my DSLR anymore”

Now this was many years ago when the quality of the photos always made me wonder if it was night all the time or if there was some weird snow or rain falling in the shots, in other words, muddy shots with loads and loads and repeat loads of noise.

Ok, when you shoot under perfect conditions there…. no I’m not even going to try they just plain sucked.
And in all fairness not a lot has changed, look at the presentations from Apple, Samsung etc. and they all promise you the perfect camera experience and better performance than before (yeah it would be weird if they said, it’s worse than last year)

I love gadgets and smartphones so most of the times I will upgrade almost every year when the latest and greatest is released and in all honesty I’m mostly highly disappointed. Up until I got my first Huawei phone… wow now that was a difference, it was far from perfect but for the first time I owned a phone that I would label as a hobbyist camera. In other words if I walk around without a real camera I’m more than happy with the smartphone images. But the UI and operation of the camera was… well it’s a smartphone you probably know what I mean right? It just doesn’t feel like a camera.

This changed when I got my Sony Xperia 1 II
Now when we talk about a real camera experience I must say Sony hit the nail on the head and hammered it all the way in. Yes it’s that good. If you ever used one of their amazing Alpha cameras it immediately feels familiar. They do use two apps but when you use the Pro version there is really hardly anyway to go back to the original camera. Also the dedicated shutter button is absolutely genius and works like a charm, the camera is super snappy and switching between the three lenses is fast and easy, even with gloves. The whole experience is a big 10+, The output is also very good in RAW, especially under ok lighting, as soon as it gets to dark the Sony really dives down in quality, and this is something I did miss dearly on the Sony, the Nightmode I got so used to on the Huawei series. But as a photographer I’m honestly more interested in RAW output without any tinkering than a nightmode… but still….

Well if you saw the Samsung presentation one might get the impression that they finally solved all the problems, this is the camera that can also make calls…..Because I did need a new smartphone I decided to take the jump and ordered the Samsung Galaxy S22Ultra 256GB. So lets make clear that I paid full price for my phone and I’m not at all associated with Samsung in anyway.

I’m totally going to skip the Android part, the only thing I can say is that I’m always pretty easy in switching OS and get used to things very easily, but some things I do want to point out.

Most people are active on social media and this is also where a lot of our images end up (when is the last time you printed your images?) so the sharing menu for me is incredibly important that it’s fully customisable and easy/fast to use. This is something that a lot of phones can improve and Samsung did do it right here by making it possible to have a lot of destinations in custom order meaning I can just follow the same order every time I post something I can’t express how important that is.

So up to the cameras
Specs are impressive for a smartphone with a 108MB (binned) main sensor, a 12MP Ultra Wide and 2 10MP tele lenses (3x and 10x).
When looking at the main camera app almost everything is there that you would want (and again fully customisable) we have standard modes for video and photography, a pro mode for both, panoramic mode in wide and ultra wide (nice), nightmode and some more cool things including a ONE SHOT.. (which takes one shot in all the modes you select, now that’s cool).

The standard camera app supports RAW (which is a surprise and awesome) and saves both RAW and JPG files (like most), only on the mainsensor you can opt for the binned output of 12MP or the full 108MP output.

If have to be honest the files coming out of the main camera app are pretty decent and have a lot of play room.
Samsung also has an Expert RAW app which you have to download separately (why not just include it), this app is pure aimed at the pro (they say) and has some real magic going on behind the scenes, 16bits RAW files are already impressive but they also work some internal magic with combining several shots to get some really sharp images that will rival pro cameras.

So is this all true?
Let me start that on the screen of the Phone the images just made my jaw drop on the floor and bounce back a few times. I’m not easily impressed but wow this is something else. But after loading them into Lightroom and looking at them on my 12.9″ iPad Pro there are already some issues, but still they look more than decent, I would even say impressive).

Where it all just gets a lot worse is when you open the images on a desktop.
Where the Sony RAW files exhibit plenty of detail and enough dynamic range to do some proper editing the Samsung files in expert RAW do have the same or slightly better dynamic range (especially from the main sensor) but it does cost you dearly.

When zooming in on a proper calibrated BenQ monitor it’s clear that Samsung needs to go back to the drawing board and do some fine tweaking for people like me.

I’m not saying the images are bad, oh far from.
But they suffer from an insane amount of sharpening that should NEVER EVER happen in a RAW file, in Lightroom I have to lower the sharpness all the way to zero to get some of the ringing out of the shots but it’s never totally gone. Now I have to be honest I did not held back in my test images, which you can see at the bottom of the review. Loads of small cables from the boats and of course a high contrast backlit sky. So in most normal situations this will be a non issue or not noticeable but hey we are doing a proper review not a consumer point and shoot review 😀

Where it gets worse is in the combination of images. Somehow you can see that the AI messes up considerably by adding the images together, again I chose some pretty difficult things to shoot, but not that difficult. Some areas of the images are very nice and detailed but a bordering detail can be very painterly or not even sharp, it’s a weird combination of sharp areas and painterly blotches.

Today I intentionally only used the 108MP sensor in the normal camera app and the other images were all shot in Expert RAW, I’ll repeat the test very soon by using only the main camera app in RAW to see if that “stacked” problem is less obvious there.

JPG vs RAW
Where I do have to give a lot of credit to Samsung is the quality of the JPGs.
As you can imagine I’ve seen a lot of different cameras and smartphones but man when looking at the pure JPGs coming from the Samsung one REALLY starts to wonder if shooting RAW is actually worth it. In the gallery I did add some images that are both JPG and RAW, where I have to be honest I do like my RAW processing more because I feel the Samsung is overdoing it a bit/a lot BUT that being said for most users I think they will prefer the JPGs, and on social media I honestly feel the JPGs do a tremendous job and I would not advise using RAW for that kind of usage. Of course if you want a bit more… RAW is the only way I think.

But let’s just for fun already compare two shots.

After my text it’s easy to spot the JPG (second one) but you can also see something else when you take the original files.
Samsung does a lot more than just play with shadows and highlights. I tried to get the exact same look in Lightroom and I just couldn’t without using some kind of masking so for a smartphone this is I think very impressive. The question is do you like it…..?

For who is this phone/camera?
And is it like the Sony a camera that can do other things, or is the Samsung a Phone that can take images?
Well it most definitely doesn’t come close to the UI and dedicated shutter button of the Sony, you can start the camera/expert RAW by double clicking the power button and use the volume buttons as shutter but this is very unnatural, the volume buttons are on the left top side of the phone and ALL cameras (as far as I know) have their shutter buttons on the right side. Meaning I’m always covering my screen when taking a shot, or I have to force myself to use my left hand, which for me feels incredibly unnatural.

That being said, I think the output is very impressive.
During day time the Sony wins hands down when using RAW and 12MP. The files are much cleaner and can be pushed more than enough. The Samsung however wins hands down with special modes like nightmode (which I love), one shot, more range with tele etc.

So… when walking around and shooting images for social media the Ultra 22 might actually be a total overkill camera, the quality is insanely good and it’s almost a shame to post the images on social media only, but that’s where the problem also arises, they are so nice on the smaller screens that you are almost disappointed when you look at them on the big screen, loads of painterly effects, way to much sharpening etc.

Conclusion for now
One could say this is more a review about the Expert RAW app which I absolutely love. Giving all the freedom to the photographer for shutter speed, ISO, focus (with peaking :D) etc. is essential if you want me to take product serious, but RAW for me is RAW meaning a total readout of the sensor without ANY interference that could be labeled as preference. Working with the Ultra S22 leaves me literally split in the middle.

For social media I think this is without a doubt the phone to beat, it crushes everything I saw so far in options, 10x tele might seem useless but the quality is so good it actually does make sense, HOWEVER I’ve seen several reviews that zoom in from the main app, this is not using the tele lens as I understand it (also explaining the very bad quality they show) you really have to switch between lenses, and than the tele lenses are very very good for a smartphone.

For professional use, I would love for Samsung to change some things in the expert RAW app, PLEASE turn down that bloody sharpening and noise reduction, it’s insane we can do that ourselves in Lightroom so if you label something expert don’t treat the users like dummies, we know what to do 😀 I think if Samsung would dial down on those settings you’ll get a lot more noise in the images but I’m 100% sure that Lightroom can do it a lot better than what I see now.

Still I have to be fair towards Samsung, this is one bloody good camera and maybe it’s totally unfair of me comparing it to a real SLR but hey if you claim it, you better make it so and although this is a really really good smartphone camera it’s nowhere near the quality you could get out of a $700 SLR. But putting that into perspective it’s now finally getting to the point where someone (like me) can say “it’s good enough”.

I would however love it when Samsung somehow made it possible to switch between the standard camera app and the expert raw possible within the apps itself. I find myself constantly switching and that means I can use one app without starting my phone and if I want to use a feature from the other one I have to close everything and open up the phone. It would be a huge deal if that wasn’t necessary and there would be a switch (like switching between selfie and front) that would just switch between the apps.

I do have to add one more thing.
In the Ultra22 Samsung did something that I think is really smart, they replaced the Note series. One can argue that the phone is too bulky or squared off and I agree, but a smaller phone doesn’t give me the options I need to edit the images easily, and my case will make it more rounded and easier to hold, so it’s a large phone…. we know. The thing I however feel would really draw creators in is the inclusion of the S-pen, now talk about something insanely handy and professional.

I could do a whole review on how to use the S-pen to take photos from a distance, or make it follow you with the camera, but most of the times I use it to retouch images on the screen, using the healing/clone tool in Lightroom with your fingers is terrible, on the iPad Pro it’s awesome with the Apple Pencil but the Samsung S22 ultra with the S-pen strikes it perfectly with the balance between the pen (not too small) and the screen size, retouching on the iPad Pro 12.9 is still a lot easier but for on the road the Samsung with S-pen will do just fine and will really be a part of the package that photographers/creators will fall in love with.

Here you can find some images in the gallery.
I also enclosed the original files for you guys to play with, it’s a hefty 500MB download so make sure you sit tight.
Download the file here.

I’ll do a follow up if necessary with the stock camera app and nightmode.
If there is anything you want me to test just ask.

Weird lines…

I do want to add one more remark. When starting the phone and using the fingerprint sensor I see some weird colored bars on the screen. Also it seems the proximity sensor doesn’t work as it should with taking screenshots. Let’s hope this will be solved by a firmware upgrade.

Tourbox NEO review

How often did you think.
“man I would love something that replaces my keyboard for shortcuts”
If that’s you, this might be of interest for you.

As you guys know I’m always 100% honest in my reviews. So let’s start by stating that this product was send to us for review, but that will not for even 1% influence my opinion. So let’s start.

What is it?
Tourbox is a small but very well build (and heavy) external device with buttons and dials that can be “freely” programmed to replace shortcuts. Now there are several solutions out there and some fall in the catagory “total junk” and “genius”. Let me start with stating that the tourbox is very close to the segment “Very usable to genius”. Let me explain.

These kind of devices are a mixed bag for me and a lot of people.
When we have a keyboard in front of us we can learn the shortcuts and for example order a small keyboard that you lay on your lap or next to you while working, or one can just chose to operate everything with a mouse/trackpad, and in all honesty for a lot of software this is still my prefered way of working, for example take lightroom, I’ve never found a product that actually speeds up the trackpad/mouse workflow, for the simple reason that Lightroom has a very clear structure and you can work from top to bottom setting everything up and seeing you also skip certain settings working with the mouse/trackpad is just very very easy also because when you use local adjustments you already need a mouse/trackpad/tablet.

So although it does work flawlessly in Lightroom I would probably never use it myself for this, no matter what others say 🙂
Now let’s look at Photoshop.

The more you work in Photoshop the more you are almost using shortcuts blindely, for the simple reason you use them all the time, and also Photoshop is a totally different program than Lightroom. For me Lightroom is really based on a mouse/trackpad workflow where Photoshop is really aimed at a tablet/pen control surface PLUS shortcuts on a keyboard, you actually hardly to never touch the mouse/trackpad, and in that case…. man this is genius.

We all have our favorite shortcuts.
For me it’s always the following I program.
Brush size, Rotate canvas, switch for/background (X), Curves, Levels, Saturation, zoom in and out, 100%, fill and of course the usual Space, CRTL, SHIFT etc.
And those can all be programmed in the Tourbox, and this makes it very usable for Photoshop and other software that is really based on shortcuts and non mouse/trackpad operation.

So let’s take a look at the software itself so you get an idea about what’s possible (and it’s a lot)

First of all, don’t worry that you have to do a lot of work before using the tourbox, there are several presets available in the software right after the installation. So when you use Photoshop and Lightroom you’re already covered. But what about if you want it differently (what I would do without a doubt). Well that’s very easy.

It’s very easy to create a new preset, and after that the fun really starts.
Of course you can emulate the normal keystrokes, but also combinations with SHIFT, CRTL etc.
But… and that’s actually very cool, you can also combine keys on the tourbox, for example the normal dial changes brushsize, but if you hold the side button you can use th same dial for screenzoom for example. And that makes the tourbox A LOT more usable, you are literally not limited to the keys you see (well actually you are, but you can also combine the keys making it a lot more usable).

Now this sounds awesome, but it also brings in a problem I experience almost everyday, “where the heck did I …..”, and with so many options it can indeed very quickly become very confusing. It also doesn’t really help the device is black including the keys (later more on that).

Now loads of people will program the Tourbox the way that they use it, and the nice thing is that you can download those from the TourBox website. Just search for the program you want to use and download the presets.

 

Luckily you can always call up the hub and see what’s programmed.
And if you don’t know all the shortcuts, don’t panic, the TourBox software helps you out by the build in functions menu. This makes programming literally a breeze.

 

Conclusion
Ok, so how does it work in reality.
Let me start with the positives.

First off all the device is build very nicely, it’s heavy enough to not drift around the table or your lap, but not too heavy you can’t travel with it. Also size wise it’s a very smart size, it’s not too small and certainly not to big, plus a BIG plus…. it uses USB-C, I still don’t understand why manufactores still release gear with other connections than USB-C.

Also there is so much flexibility that it’s almost impossible that there is a situation where you can’t use it.
So overall I’m very positive about the TourBox. But let’s also take a look at the negatives.

First of all one could argue that it should be wireless, and I start with this one because I agree and disagree. You do have to realize the price point of the TourBox, compared to some competitors the TourBox is A LOT cheaper and when you add wireless you will need a battery and of course BT or WiFi board which will drive the price up and also the stability, I’m actually mostly a fan of devices that also have the option to be used with a wired connection because I hate batteries that run out, or connections that are instable (and yes that happens a lot).

Ok so what can they improve
Now do realize that some of these options will add some costs or are not possible in this product.

First off all I think the TourBox is genius for Photoshop but also when recording and editing video and music, and especially for music it’s awesome to be able to start recording/punch ins with just a quick tap on a button instead of reaching out to the keyboard or using the mouse/keyboard, and while editing zooming is just plain awesome…. “Hey Frank this is positive, not negative buddy…” yeah I know, now when I record music or edit photos/videos I’m a bit of “batman” I’m editing in a dark area and in most cases there is just not enough light to see the pure black TourBox, this is also the reason I’m using keyboards with backlit keys. I would love for them to add a light behind the keys, just to see where the keys are and not having to trust my fingers in the dark. Now not everyone will be editing in a “batcave” but if you do this is really a negative thing about the TourBox, I love black gear, but man it’s hard to see in the dark.

Now adding backlights would be pretty easy I guess, just place a ledstrip in the housing and it will show through the side of the keys, it doesn’t have to be disco ball but just outlining the keys would help a lot. The next step would be a small display that shows what you programmed under the keys, I don’t see a lot of products that use this but in all honestly it would make it worth double the price for me personally, because especially when you use the TourBox in 4-5 apps it can be VERY confusing where what is. In all fairness on my XP-Pen tablets after hours and hours of use I know most of the buttons, but still…. I’m using console tape next to the keys with the functions because the most used keys I know where they are but keys you don’t use a lot can still be confusing, and these kind of devices are build for speed and easy workflow, the fact that most keys are shaped differently does help a lot, I’ve tested several solutions that use the same buttons (just a lot of them) and I never really used them for the simple reason I just lost track and eventually interest. By using different shapes it makes it 10x easier to remember.

The thing that I would LOVE to see, and I really think it should be added is support for iOS.
Now bare with me for this one.
I know most of you still edit on desktops or laptops, but you can’t deny that the iPads are making huge waves at the moment and for me the iPad pro 12.9″ M1 actually fully replaced my laptop and for 90% my desktop, and indeed that means I use the iPad for everything from photography to video editing and media consumption.

Now on a desktop and laptop you already have a keyboard an a mouse/trackpad connected but not on an iPad, the only reason I have a keyboard connected when editing is for certain shortcuts which I find easier than using the touch interface, and for that I would not connect a keyboard but would literally LOVE a solution like the TourBox, in fact I would use it almost daily seeing more and more app makers are adding loads of shortcuts, and editing with a keyboard next to me is possible but I would love the TourBox (or another solution) connected to the iPad.

When talking to manufactorers I often hear they don’t look at the iPad pro as a serious device and I strongly feel they were right 2-3 years ago, however when we now look at what Adobe is doing with Lightroom and Photoshop, but also apps like LumaFusion, Cubasis, Beatmaker3, affinity photo etc. I really feel they are very wrong to not take the iPad pro serious, and luckily soon Capture One will be released on the iPad pro M1 which I think will break open the way for more software makers. And let’s be honest with the new M1 it should be pretty simple for TourBox to port their software to the iPad.

So should you run out and buy a TourBox?
Well if you compare it to the price of a normal keyboard… no absolutely not.
BUT…. that’s not fair, it’s a totally different product and well worth it’s price especially when compared to other solutions.

So when you find yourself looking for shortcuts in software and would wish there was a way to have this all easy accessable the TourBox might be the perfect solution for you. I’ll keep using it behind the desktop we record music on and do the editing when I’m home, and this has nothing to do with the quality but the simple fact in the studio we use XP-Pen tablets that already have more than enough shortcut keys. But if you are using a tablet that doesn’t have enough hardkeys (most don’t have enough) combining your tablet with the TourBox I can HIGHLY recommend and I mean HIGHLY, it will make your life a lot easier. But do make sure you have a little but of light in your workarea. Or wait for TourBox to release a special Doorhof white version with backlighting (just kidding).

If you also want a TourBox, get them (or anything else :D) via this link and also support our work.
https://amzn.to/3wTPihQ

Wireless goodies for Sony shooters

Shooting tethered is without a doubt one of the most valuable pieces of advise I can give, direct feedback, your customer can see and select images, you can do a pre-edit/selection, check focus and when working with manual focus lenses you can even do some bracketing if needed with the aid of Capture One’s awesome focus overlay (it shows everything that’s in focus as green).

Now most of the times I shoot tethered via USB-C and use my Tethertools cables and Tetherblock for this, plus some Tethertools extension locks and those together give me a pretty rock solid connection up to just under 15mtrs which in most cases is more than enough. However when shooting on location things do change a bit.

I love my Dell XPS series laptop but in all honesty outside the screen isn’t that bright and the battery… don’t get me started on that, yeah it’s ok but nothing more. A while ago we started experimenting with my Huawei M5 tablet and the build in Sony wireless app. That worked like a charm at home and in the field, the Sony sends over small JPGs and keeps the RAWs on the card and the app works great on Android (NFC) and “ok” in iOS (have to keep making a connection via password or QR), the M5 has more lightoutput than my laptop and being on location not having to carry a laptop, cables and extra battery pack + table for the laptop is a big plus, we now just use a tablet with a shade (hoodman).

However the Sony app is great at home but it fails miserably in more demanding situations.
I’m working on a series on mobile workflows with the iPad pro and smart devices instead of laptops so during our trip to SA Joburg I decided to shoot wireless for the first time in a tradeshow environment, and can tell you “DON’T EVER DO THIS YOURSELF” it was a disaster, some images came in in seconds others took 25-30 seconds, shooting from the same location not 3 mtrs away from my tablet. Literally unusable. But what than?

As you know I LOVE Tethertools but their great CaseAir doesn’t support Sony (yet) so I looked online.
CamRanger is coming soon for Sony, but I’ve been hearing that for at least 5 years now.
CamFi I already tested a year or 2 ago and although it did work it lost connection a lot and the app was…. well not that impressive. But I found out they have a new one, enter the:

CamFi pro
And trust me after the iPhone pro the name pro in my opinion has lost all it’s value (yeah I’m still an Apple fan boy but calling the 11 a pro…. nah) So what does this CamFi pro promise. Well actually quite a lot, and some things even blew my mind.

First off it promises much faster transfer speeds, well let me burst that bubble, yes it’s fast, in fact it’s VERY fast, but don’t expect to shoot RAW, not going to happen, not now not soon (maybe for still life or nature, but not far fast shooting like fashion or movement), but JPGs… well that goes REALLY snappy and I really mean REALLY. I’ve set my camera up for small JPGs and full size RAWs, in the new Sony menus you can find an option where you actually tell the camera to shoot RAW+JPG and only send the JPGs to the PC (yes this now also works for Capture One).

Ok what can it do with the app:
Autoview (handy for what I do, shoot image comes in, shoot, repeat)
Live View (can be cool to show the attendees how I make my composition, and awesome for other shooters, like remote cameras etc)
Time Lapse (always handy)
Focus stacking (cool for Macro)
HDR (Yep…. not a real fan of Highly Destructive Retouching, but… yeah ok it’s cool)
Video recording (ok that’s also handy)
Multiple camera control (yep you read that correctly, awesome for sports shooters with several cameras)
Auto print (yeah… well ok it’s there)

Transfer speeds are given as 10MB/s which I believe, again it feels really snappy.
And remember you’re shooting small JPGs so it’s almost as fast as RAWs via USB.

Capture one and Lightroom
And now it gets freaky
What if I told you that with this device you can just connect your camera to Capture One/Lightroom and those apps THINK you are shooting wired? In other words you see the camera, you can select everything and images come in like normally with USB, pretty cool right?

Yep and it works as advertised, setup is a breeze, just a small software app you run before you start shooting and you’re done.

My conclusion
You might expect a hallelujah conclusion after reading this, right?
Well it is, but…. and someone told me once that everything before but is useless, so let’s dive in.

First up.
Startup time is pretty long, but that’s pretty standard, but I would have loved for that to be a bit faster, connecting the camera works in 60-70% of the cases, don’t worry, if it doesn’t work just unplug ONLY the camera and connect it again, it never happened to me that it failed a second time, not once (and I used it a lot)

Second up.
And this is the big one.
This thing is HUGE, and I mean…. I don’t have a clue where to put it. It can’t be on the hot shoe because I need my trigger there, I don’t want a cage around my camera (I think) because I normally don’t want it on and it feels weird in my hands (I shoot with a grip) When I look at the case air you can just let it dangle next to the camera via a small cord and it’s fine. The CamFi pro…. never, it’s really big. But that also means build quality is like a tank, it’s very durable and it screams PRO device in every single way.

Third up.
Battery life is ok, they claim 6 hours, but my experience is about 4, which is more than enough (plus I got a loan unit so I don’t know how they treated the battery, I know I’m super aware of how to treat them so with me the batteries often stay in peak performance) but again 4 hours is more than enough

Fourth up.
Distance.
CamFi claims 50mtrs and I can only confirm that I did a test which was absolutely stunning.
During Photoshop World I walked all the way to the back of the room (those rooms are huge) and remember there are many wifi signals there, and the CamFi didn’t miss a beat, maybe it was a milisecond slower but all the images came in just fine and fast enough, WOW, that’s awesome.

End conclusion
If you need a wireless solution and you are like me shooting Sony, I can highly recommend the CamFi pro.
If you’re shooting Canon or Nikon and you want that integration with Capture one or Lightroom go for it.
If you want something smaller that also works just fine get the Tethertools CaseAir, but that’s only for the size, in all honesty I’m blown away by the CamFi pro…. if I could find a way to mount it without too much hassle like screwing in a case and working like that I would even recommend it even more, you could use a coldshoe splitter of course but if you’re using an ETTL or HSS/HS system that won’t work.

I have to send the unit back soon, and I have to be honest I do feel a bit sad about that.
Who knows…maybe I’ll buy it when there is no good solution before the end of the year…but you never know. 😀

HIGHLY recommended.

 

 

 

images are not mine