Bad Year – Great Tech

The year of 2020 has been a conflicting one for myself. While the world was in perish thanks to a divisive & violent political landscape, a global pandemic, and the world on economic collapse….at least we got some awesome new tech to play with! In fact, this year has been one of the most impressive years in tech in recent memory. We got a new generation of consoles, we got groundbreaking PC hardware, and in the world of content creation, we got our prayers answered with some of the recent camera releases. It’s truly been an awesome year to spend money. This list is just a break down on some of my favorite pieces of tech I picked up during this wretched year.

  • The Sony Playstation 5

    So I haven’t had much time with the PS5, I’ve only received it in the beginning of December. But that’s all the more reason to be impressed it’s made its way on to my list. It’s simple really. We finally are able to play couch gaming at 4K, 60 frames per second, with HDR. Never before have we reached this level of fidelity, nor performance, with console gaming. While I’ve been enjoying 4K content for the better of 5-6 years now, 4K gaming has always been a pipe-dream. The amount of performance that’s needed to push that resolution at a locked 60fps is quite immense. But the recent innovations from AMD has allowed these console makers to push the bar. But it’s not just resolution that has got me impressed, but also the controller. The PS5 controller applies haptic engines all over. You gain a much more accurate “rumble” that is so precise it can accurately simulate what type of material you’re walking on. But you also gain force feedback in the triggers, which apply pressure in different strengths depending on the scenario. So pulling a bow will simulate the increasing pressure in the trigger until it’s released, then allowing the trigger to fully depress with a snap. Astro’s Playroom really showcases the power of this, and it’s one of the most exciting features of this new console. Overall, console gaming is going to give PC gaming a REAL run for its money in this generation. At least…for now.


  • DJI Ronin S

    This Black Friday I was able to pick up the DJI Ronin S bundle at a great price. I’ve only used smaller gimbals before, nothing that would fully balance an entire DSLR rig. I didn’t expect to use it much since I have a camera with great IBIS anyway. Boy was I wrong. The Ronin, but more widely gimbals themselves, allow me to produce more shots and angles that I just couldn’t produce without it. For instance, one of my favorite shots is the “Parallax” which allows you to turn around on the subject, while the background flies behind. Doing this with just IBIS turned on is a very frustrating experience, and usually takes at least 10 takes per shot to nail the fluidity. Well with the gimbal I’m able to land these shots almost instantly. Mainly because of the smoothness of the motors. No human will ever match the fluid and smooth nature of a good motor. I just wish I knew how much it hurt to use a fully stacked gimbal all day. Ouch.

  • iPhone 12 Pro Max

    It’s no secret that I’m an Apple stan. But this year it’s undeniable that Apple has had one of its strongest years in recent memory. From releasing their own groundbreaking chips to global fanfare, to dropping high end ANC headphones, to releasing one of my favorite products this year, the iPhone 12. The design harkens back to the design of the 4, which is regarded by many (including myself) as the best designed iPhone. Except now with a 6.7 OLED display capable of 1200 nits of brightness, HDR, True Tone, and some of the best speakers on a phone ever. Add this with their best cameras yet, which include real OIS in the lens for amazing stabilization, the best 4K video quality capable of up to 250mbps bitrates, and Apple ProRAW photo taking capabilities which produce 25mb images that don’t break down under heavy edits. It’s a content creating and consumption beast, with 5G connectivity for blazingly fast network speeds. It’s a tough phone to beat this year. If only it had USB-C!

  • Nvidia RTX 3070

    One of the more sought after pieces of gear this year has been the Nvidia 3000 series GPU’s. During the release of the Super Series of 2000 GPU’s, Nvidia was bested by a much more value driven AMD GPU series. This lit a huge spark under Nvidia to push their next release further than they have previously. And well, it paid off. What we end up getting was one of the biggest jumps in GPU performance in a long time. The 3080 specifically brought us HDR 4K Ultra-settings gaming over 60fps with frames to spare. Not only this, but the 3090 brought much more confidence in 4K gaming, and the 3070 brought us the best 1440p GPU the market has seen to date. While I plan on picking up a 3080 Ti when it’s released, I was able to snag a 3070 to fit my 1440p setup, and I couldn’t be more happy. Previously I was using a 1080 Ti, and getting around 50-60fps, at high/medium settings at 1080p in Cyberpunk. But with the RTX 3070, this brought me over 70fps in 1440p, with ultra settings AND raytracing features enabled thanks to the magical DLSS. While I’m at it, the latest 7th gen NVENC encoding and 5th gen decoding provides even better compression quality and speeds. If you’re looking to upgrade your PC, a 3000 series card will drastically improve your setup.

  • Canon RF 15-35mm f/2.8

    Now onto the camera gear. The 15-35mm f/2.8 has been the best lens I’ve ever used. When it’s paired on the R5 or the R, it’s easily the most versatile lens I’ve used, that doesn’t compromise on quality in any way. It resolves with amazing detail, and of course that Canon contrast you’d expect. It’s beefy magnesium alloy body gives it a rugged feel without bringing the immense weight you’d find with a G-Master or Tamron. And it’s OIS is amongst the best in the industry. I love using it wide at 15mm for my “selfie” style videos, but I’m able to bring to 35mm for a more versatile “street” shot, and if I want something more portrait, enabling a crop mode gives my a 70mm shot. While it’s pricey, it’s well, well worth the money and it has taken the spot of the 24-70mm as my most used lens.


  • Canon EOS R5

    This list wouldn’t be complete without the Canon R5. Simply put, it’s the best camera I’ve ever used, and it’s quite possibly the best hybrid camera currently on the market. The photo capabilities are unmatched. Decadent Canon colors matched with a high-end 45mp sensor gives you some of the sharpest, most detailed, but also color-rich, images that rival the best of film. On top of that, with a shooting speed up to 20fps funneling into the super fast CFExpress card, you’ll literally NEVER miss a shot. And on the video side, Canon has completely stacked the camera. 4K video gets the most attention with frames from 24 all the way up to 120, and in UHD or the more sought after DCI aspect ratios. You get these images in the easy to work with 8bit 4:2:0 H.264 file formats, but if you want a bit more girth to your image, they also added in 10bit 4:2:2 h.265 formats. This means we’ve finally got our mirrorless camera that can shoot 4K 10-bit up to 120fps, with IBIS, and a flip-out display. A camera I’ve been waiting YEARS for. And on top of all that, we get TRUE 8K recording capabilities with a RAW output option that gives you a whopping 1200mbps bitrate to literally push and pull your image in any conceivable way without losing quality. This has been the only time I’ve purchased a camera and have not felt I was missing something. A truly remarkable piece of tech for the independent content creator.

  • Atomos Ninja V

    But I’d be lying if I said it was my favorite piece of tech I got in 2020. I understand the Ninja V isn’t “new” but this year it was new to me, and it’s gotta go on the list. The Atomos Ninja V is an external recorder that allows recording from HDMI in ProRES or DNxHR, up to 4K 60fps with 10-bit and HDR capabilities. It’s nothing groundbreaking. But in terms of workflow and increasing the value of your gear, it’s been a gamechanger for me. First off, this gives the old Canon EOS R a 10-bit output image, increasing the value of that camera tenfold. It’s shocking how often I still use the EOS R, given that I own an R5, mainly because the 10bit 1080p image on it is truly amazing thanks to the Ninja V. And for the R5, the Ninja V allows you shoot in that desired full-frame 4K 10-bit, up to 60fps, but without dealing with the hard-to-edit H.265 file container that’s been crushing PC’s since its inception. Instead, if spits it out in the much more fluid ProRES allowing my Macbook to edit these huge files with ease. Finally, all the monitoring features allow me to ensure my shots are color corrected and exposed the right way, and recording straight to an SSD has been a godsend allowing me to gain the speed and size that’s needed without paying into the overpriced CFExpress cards. It’s easily my favorite purchase of 2020, and I recommend EVERYONE think about picking one up before ever considering buying a new camera.