Calling all maker geeks, photo geeks, and audiophiles – this one is for you. Yes yes, I regularly champion experience over stuff, but the reality is also true that we creators use tools to create. As such, in today's #cjRAW I shine a bright little light on 3 tech tools that caught my eye. One for the geeky geeks, one for the photo geeks, and a third for the audiofile / video geeks.
When I first saw this 3D printer, my eyes bugged out. So simple, so gorgeous, and brilliant in what it can do. This little beauty will cut or engrave everything from paper, wood, leather, and – yes – even food. Not only was it the largest crowd-funded project of all time ($27 million in 30 days), but what's particularly awesome about this thing is it's versatility + gorgeous design, more than suitable for any home or studio. And it's drop dead easy to use. While you can certainly use typical design tools such as illustrator, photoshop, or even CAD programs, you can also just draw on your material (yes, hand drawn on the back of a napkin will do….) and the Glowforge will use that template to cut or engrave your design into any material. Very dope.
Glowforge is still under development, but it's got your bases covered. There are two options, basic and pro. The basic will allow materials 12″x20″ and will require venting or you can purchase the additional air filter. The Pro has a stronger laser and has a pass-through feature which will allow 20″ wide to infinite length. Glowforge is currently offered at a pre-delivery sale price of $2395 and up (40% off) for a limited time. At that price tag you might say 'gulp' but there is no finer 3D printer that I've ever seen.
DxO One Camera
If you are like a BILLION people on the planet and take freakish amounts of photos or videos with your iPhone, this little gadget will capture your attention, the DxO One Camera. This compact camera sports a 1″ sensor that can capture a RAW 20.2 megapixel photo. The photo nerds ears just perked up, I know, because I said RAW. Yes – that's a thing. The DxO is the most compact way I know of on the market to get RAW photos. Plus, its superfast 6-element aspherical lens boasts a f/1.8 aperture making it a game changer for iPhone photography in low-light. How's it work you ask? It does shoot as a stand-alone rig without a viewfinder, somewhat like a GoPro, but that's not the preferred use case. At its best – and at the core of its design – this little camera (about half the size of a deck of cards) connects sweetly to the lightening port of your iPhone and turns your phone's display into a digital viewfinder and menu control. It basically turns your iPhone into the smallest high-powered camera out there. And because it's using the lightning connector, it can transfer photos (and video) near instantly to your phone OR save your space and send the photos directly to the DxO's on-board micro SD card. The DxO retails for $599, which stays in the ballpark for similar compact cameras.
If right now you're saying "why would I strap a $600 lens to my already-great $600 iPhone?" Here's why. It most definitely elevates your phone's ability to take higher-end photos in a "pro" capacity. Low light? Check. It has the fastest lens around. RAW? Check. Full manual controls – as in shutter, aperture and ISO? Check. Check. Check. Hardcore iPhone photo geeks just got themselves a new toy.
Over the years, I increasingly film more content on my iPhone. In fact, a bunch of the #cjRAW vids are straight outta my iPhone 6s. Looking for a better audio solution that was easy to travel with, I recently picked up the RODE SmartLav+. Dreamy. VERY simple. Similar to the production quality lavaliere mics I normally use, this broadcast quality mic connects directly to your iPhone's standard headphone jack giving you significantly cleaner audio. Now you can turn your iPhone into a audio recorder using voice memo (or simliar) or record clearer audio when you're speaking to the camera. The SmartLav+ is an update to RODE's previous SmartLav adding a higher quality materials and a new gray cap on the connector so you can identify it from other lavs you might own (nice move). SmartLav+ retails for $79 bucks, but definitely a major upgrade to your iPhone or headphone mic if you need to elevate the audio side of your game.
KK friends. There's a quick breakdown of a range of gadgets I'm enjoying
Links from the Episode
CreativeLive: iPhone Photography with Julia Kelleher
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Photography by Gallagher