Before You Buy 105 (Transcript)


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Before You Buy 105

Leo: Coming up! The Galaxy Note 3, the HP Zbook, the Death Adder, a camera that costs way too much, and a Macintosh that ought to cost a lot more. It’s time to watch Before You Buy! Net casts you love, from people you trust! This is TWiT.

Leo: Bandwidth from before you buy is brought to you by CacheFly. At cachefly.com. Before you buy is brought to you by audible.com. To download the free audio book of your choice, visit Audiblepodcasts.com/beforeyoubuy. 

Leo: Hello and welcome to Before You Buy! The TWiT product review show, where we get all the latest products, we gather them together and disseminate them to our wonderful staff. Where they’re going to give us a real world look at what it’s like to actually use, and own the things that we have. Now we want to start off with a tablet. You know, there’s so many great tablets out there. IPad of course, but then there’s a lot of Android choices. Google has its nexus line. Samsung, though, seems to be the number one Android tablet. This is the Galaxy Note 3. We gave it to Jason Howell of All About Android, and he gave us this…A review!

Jason Howell: Hey, what’s up? I’m Jason Howell and I’m here with the Samsung Galaxy tab 3 8.0. Kind of weird to have the two names there, but basically it’s the series 3, of the Galaxy tab. This is the 8 inch screen version. And, you can kind of tell, if you’re a Samsung fan at all, it looks a lot like the Galaxy S4. Basically, their design language is very, very close to each other. Be it the phones, as well as the tablets. They all look very similar. So if you’re a fan of that style, you’re probably going to like this device. Duel core 1.5 gigahertz, exenos 4 processer inside. With 1.5 gigs of RAM. It has that 8 inch LCD screen that I told you about. It’s 1280 by 800 resolutions. So it’s not necessarily a full 10 AVP display…get to that in a second. 16 gigs of internal storage on this device. Although there is a 32 gig model. Micro SD card slot if you need even more than that. There’s a 5 megapixel, rear facing camera on the back. And a front facing camera of 1.3 megapixels. 4450 milliamp power battery that is non-removable. This case does not come off. It also has an IR blaster, you can see, right there. So if you want to use it with your stereo or home theater system, you can. This is running 4.2.2 Jelly Bean. And it should be noted that there is no NFC on that device, so if that’s a deal breaker for you you’re not going to find it here. We’ll start with the design. As I said, it looks a lot like the Galaxy S4. Just like a bigger version of it. Obviously, it has the plastic design. But thankfully, and I’m not the hugest fan of plastic when it comes to design of phones. But it feels pretty sturdy, pretty solid, considering you don’t get a lot of, like, those creaks when you bend the device, or anything like that. Often, my complaint with the tablet, is that the edges are so sharp that it digs into the palm of your hand and it becomes really uncomfortable over time. So the rounded edges are definitely appreciated. They have a little bit of the chrome outlining’s on the sides as well as the styling’s around the camera. Which kind of give it a nice little pop. Still a menu button. A capacitive menu button on the device. Samsung has clung hard to the menu button, even though google has pretty much said with Android, I think it was Jelly bean, initially, that said the menu button is going away. And now on performance. Which is where the tablet starts to fall apart a little bit. Duel Core Processer, people would say hey, you know, that’s going to be sufficient for most needs. But I kind of saw it, like, in the responsiveness, you can see the notification pull down, sometimes it would take it two to three times to register a touch, in doing that.  Other times it would pull down fine. It just really… you never know what you’re going to get. Browsing the web was okay but, again, when you’re scrolling through a big webpage, there was just a little bit of extra jitteriness when you’re pulling through, and you detect it more and more over time. Playing games, I played Dead Trigger 2, Rip Tide GP2, Road racing 3, and overall they were pretty enjoyable, but again just little jittering and stuttering throughout the game play that would pop up here and there, and just kind of pull you out of the experience. The camera is almost not even really worth talking about. And cameras on tablets rarely ever amount to much, but on here you get what I would expect. Pretty washed out photos, unless you’re in excellent punchy light. It’s probably best suited for video conferencing. Battery, what more could I say, solid performance. The battery didn’t really run out on me. Although, I did notice that standby time, if I left it in my bag for a little while, it wouldn’t last more than a couple of days.  Standby time actually seemed to not be that great. And then, of course, there’s the software, which is Samsung Touch Whiz UI. It certainly has its fans, but I wouldn’t necessarily say I’m the hugest fan of Touch Whiz, but I certainly gave it a shot here. A multi window mode that allows you to pull up two different pages side by side. That was really handy. Smart Stay which actually uses these sensors to track your eyes, and if your eyes are staring at the screen and it knows it, it will keep the screen on. It doesn’t matter what your screen time out settings are. There is no gesture support on here though, like there is on S4 so keep that in mind. And I just had to go ahead and go on the record and say that Samsung built in keyboard is horrible. You get more wrong than you ever get right with the Samsung keyboard. But over all, you know, Touch Whiz brings a level of extra features to their devices, to Samsung devices, and if that’s something that you’re looking for, a little bit extra on the software side, then Touch Whiz is excellent for that. Alright, now let’s take a look at the pros of the Samsung galaxy tab 3 8.0. First there’s the display which, like I said, 720 display, but it’s perfectly sufficient and a very nice display, considering that. Some software features that are included with Touch Whiz are actually very handy and useful, so that gives you a little bit of extra usefulness out of the tablet purchase.  On the con side, I would definitely say performance and responsiveness were an issue throughout the user experience. And I definitely noticed more the more I used the tablet. And then price, compared to the competition. You know, the IPad mini is only maybe 20, 30 bucks more than the galaxy tab 3 8.0. The Nexus 7 is better specs in some ways and it’s a definitely a lot less than this tablet is. So price is definitely an issue here. Having said all that, it’s not that this tablet is necessarily bad in any real way, but it’s also not really great in any real way. I don’t walk away from this review thinking there’s one particular thing this tablet is especially good at and you know, if you’re going to recommended people, to buy you want at least one reason to recommend them to do so.  So if you’re a big fan of Samsung, Touch Whiz their hardware aesthetic, you’re probably going to like this device. For everyone else, there are lots better options out there in this 8… 7 to 8 inch form factor for tablets. At possibly, a lesser price than the Samsung galaxy tab 3 8.0. I’m Jason Howell and you can check out all of my reviews on allaboutandriod@twit.tv/aaa. Thanks for watching my review.

Leo: Thank you to Jason Howell from, All About Andriod Galaxy tab 3 8.0, not the note three. I have the not three. That’s the one I reviewed. That’s the phone that’s only slightly smaller than this one. Let’s talk about the laptops. HP has a new laptop it calls the, Zbook. Our very own Shannon Morris, the producer of this show, cohost of Coding 101, and a regular of course on Hack Five, took a look at this Zbook. Shannon…

Shannon Morse: Hi! My name is Shannon Morse. I’m the producer of Before You Buy. Today I have the HP Zbook 14. Which looks like a regular laptop, right, an ultra-book, but in reality it is a mobile workstation. So this baby costs, starting at $1399 but it can go all the way up to $2399 or a little bit more than that. The one that I have here is 2399. So a little over two grand. And its target toward not your usual consumers, but a engineering market. So this is for your editors, your animation workers, your patent workers. So this is made for professionals and, honestly, when you see the insides of this, you can really tell it’s made for professionals. So I’m going to do something right now, this looks a little crazy but…Oh no! I broke it! Alright not really, but you can see here that you have a lot of upgrade options. You can pull things out, you can swap the battery. On the inside, we have Windows 7 bit which is great. 65 bit. It also includes...it’s an Intel fourth generation I7 processer, so top of the line excellent processer so excellent quality.  You also get, get this, 16 gigs of RAM. Because who doesn’t need 16 gigs of RAM, right? And there’s also a 240 gig solid state drive. Some of the cheaper options do include hard disk drives, if you want more memory on that side, instead of the smaller solid state drive. But I prefer solid states myself. It also includes Bluetooth 4.0 and Wi-Fi but there is an option, an upgradable option, for 4g mobile broadband module as well, and you can just simply plug that in and upgrade it, yay, how fun! Now GPU, that’s just for graphics it includes an AND in 40 100. So that’s fun. Yay! So I really, really like the upgrade options on this and the fact that you can just upgrade your brand you can upgrade your solid state drive if you want to. You can swap out your battery while you’re on the go. Say you’re in the car and you’re going to next on the field job. Swap out the battery and put the new one in. Very important for professionals and I really like that they included that. So on the right side, we have display port. There is USB 3.0. There’s two USB 3.0s and a full Ethernet port, which is very important when you’re on the go. There’s also a hidden SD card on the bottom. It includes a little docking station on that. And there’s a docking station for your elite HP books so you can dock it into a docking station as well, if you’re just sitting at your desk. On the other side we have a Kensington lock, VGA and two more USB 3.0s as well as a smart card port. So pretty much everything that you could want. The only thing I think is missing would be HTMI, but you do have your docking point and your other display port, so not too bad. The webcam on this is 720 p. Honestly, with that professional grade quality, I think that 720 p is just fine for a webcam. And the speakers do get pretty decently loud on this. They’re pretty average for a laptop. Now let’s move onto the screen. This is a 14 inch anti-glare screen. Very important when you’re out in the sunlight, and of course, on the field again.  And its 19 20 by 10 80, a little bit lower resolution but not too bad. Again it’s full HD, so I’m okay with that. The keyboard and the touchpad on this are so, so nice. I’m always super picky when it comes to my touch pad, so I’m absolutely in love with this thing. The keyboard is a Chiclet keyboard but its spaced far apart, far enough apart that it gives you no problems whenever you’re trying type out reports and stuff like that. The touch pad is very smooth, very easy to use. It doesn’t stick. You don’t find yourself moving around on the screen where you’re not trying to click, so it’s very useful. And there’s also physical right and left click buttons. And for you guys out there who are still use to having a pointing stick in the middle. The little nub right in the middle of the keyboard. It’s still there for you, just in case you need it. So let’s move on to my pros and cons with this device. First the pros. It’s light weight. It’s a light weight work station. Under 4 pounds, you really can’t get better than that when you’re going for a professional grade quality machine for your work station. Also, it’s upgradable, I mean, who doesn’t want upgrading options on their mobile workstation? That’s so cool! The touchpad was excellent and of course, anti-glare perfect for when you’re in the field. On the con side, it does have a little bit lower resolutions than some other options out on the market right now and it is a little bit pricey at over 2 grand. So would this be a buy, try or a don’t buy? Wel,l I have to say it’s definitely a buy. Obviously, I have to say I’m not a target market person for this. I’m not a CAD person, I’m not an engineer. But for the video editors out there, for the guys who are on the field all the time moving around, the architectural engineers and what not, definitely a buy. I just love the fact you can upgrade all the options underneath the bottom of this guy. It’s so nice to do that. So yeah, it’s a buy. Again I’m Shannon Morris and this is the HP Zbook 14.

Leo: That’s Shannon Morris. She’s the producer of Before you Buy. She liked it! Let’s give it to Shannon! Shannon liked it. Coming up and just a minute, we’re going to take a look at mice and maybe this little guy here. The highly strokable Mac pro. But first a reminder, all of our reviews are available online, not only at our website, Twit.tv/byb. But also of course on the YouTube channel, youtube.com/beforeyoubuy. And what we’ve done with those is, you know, you can get the whole show at TWiT but we’ve taken the individual reviews, and chopped them up so if you want you can say, “dad you know, you’re interested in buying the Galaxy tTab 3, here’s your review.” And you can just send him the link to the YouTube channel, and they’d just get that review. So that’s youtube.com/beforeyoubuy. If you want to email us, let us know about something you’d like to have reviewed. Of course, at byb@twit.tv. We love hearing from you. Before we go on with a look at the Death Adder, let’s take a look at our fine sponsor, Audible.com. You know, I’m a big audible fan. I live on audio books from audible.com. Fortunately, when I started in 2000 it was great then, but the selection you know, was in the 1,000s but now it’s 150,000.  What else has happened is that Audible has really gotten the recognition of the publication industry. So when a new book comes out, the latest, Danielle Steel or Steven king, it comes out on audible the same day it comes out in the book store. That’s really great! It means you don’t have to wait to get an audio version of your favorite, and it doesn’t even do it justice to say audio. They get the best readers that really bring books to life. Right now I’m listening to Brad Stones great book about Amazon.com, The Everything Store. And by the way, we interviewed Brad on Triangulation this past week. Highly recommend this, not because it’s an interesting story, we all are amazon fans. But it’s not only a behind the scenes story about how this amazing store works, but it’s also a really great education in business. I mean Jeff Bezos is brilliant, love this book, love the narration and you can get it for free, if you go to audiblepodcast.com/beforeyoubuy. You’ll be signing up for the gold plan. That’s a book a month, but your first month is free, your first book is free. Cancel any time in the first thirty days, you’ll pay nothing, and the book is yours to keep forever. You also get the daily digest of either the New York Times or the Wall Street Journal. Really nice, I mean it takes commuting and just makes it go by. Just fly by.  Same thing you know, doing the dishes, walking the dog, anything where you’d like to read but your hands aren’t free to hold the book. In fact, frankly, I’m such an Audible fan, I listen even when I could be reading a book. That’s how I consume!  Great literature, nonfiction, history, thrillers and of course the best science fiction in the world. Audiblepodcast.com/beforeyou buy. Well everybody knows, I think about the razor mice, it’s a great gaming mouse. But do you know about the Genius Cam, the Genius Energy, or the Feenix? A mouse wrapped up next with Padre SJ Father Robert Ballecer, of This Week in Enterprise Tech. Let’s take a look.

Father Robert Ballecer: I’m Father Robert Ballecer and the Digital Keswick with a specialty mouse roundup from before you buy. We’ve got two combo mice from Genius, All left-handed gaming mouse from Razor, and an executive mouse from Feenix. The came mouse is a corded USB optical mouse from Genius. With an integrated camera on the underside of the unit. ASD, an optical device. The Cm mouse is, well, a mouse with three buttons, plus a scrolling wheel. It’s a compete fit not unique, entirety design. Where it gets interesting is when the mouse if flipped over, and a trap door reveals a camera. The two megapixel sensor is triggered by a button on the left side of the mouse. And Genius positions it as a way to scan QR codes, and take quick pictures, for use on the internet. The Genius cam mouse sells for about $22. The Wireless Energy mouse is another combination device from Genius. Putting together a 1200 dpi 2.4 gigahertz wireless mouse, and a 2700 milliamp power battery, for powering USB devices. The mouse portion of the combo is actually pretty good. It’s large enough to comfortably cup in the average size hand. And the three button scroll design is responsive and clicky. The underside of the mouse has an on off switch, and a slot that serves as a storage bin for the USB receiver. On the charging side, the Genius mouse has a port on the front of the mouse, and a standard USB port on the back. A button below the scroll wheel activates the battery and a four led indicator tells you how much charge is left in the mouse. The mouse can charge most all non-tablet USB devices, and it has a backup battery so that using the charging function wont accidently kill the mouse. The Genius Wireless Energy mouse is available for $27. The Razor Death Adder, 3500 PC gaming mouse is a left handed version of their popular Death Adder series devices. Using a 35 dpi Razor Precision, 3.5 g inferred laser sensor, and a 5 button configure action. The Death Adder has a 1 millisecond response time and 1 gigahertz pulling. This allows for on the fly adjustments of DPI, and liquid smooth movement. Anybody who has ever used a razor mouse, can expect the same quality build in their left-handed unit. It’s responsive, smooth and silent. Your typical molding and three Teflon feet. It uses a braided cord, gold plated connecter, and gentle blue illumination. The Razor Death Adder, 3500, left handed edition, sells for $57. The Feenix Nascita is a high performance gaming mouse, with executive style. It features an 82 hundred DPI a Vogel 9800 laser engine, and lenses with a 1 millisecond response time, 1200 IMS and 150 inches per second rating. It also sports an in mouse LCD screen. That lets you quickly adjust the resolution settings, even without a commuter client. Molded for right handers, the Nascita is undoubtedly the most comfortable mouse I’ve ever used. It’s well balanced, with a  gently sloping palm rest, perfectly sculpted thumb indents, and perfectly placed buttons and scroll wheel. The Nascita glides on four Teflon feet that lets it effortlessly move over even rough surfaces. It features a braided cord and gold plated USB connecter. The Feenix Nascita sells for 97 dollars. With the cam mouse on the con side, it has to be the overall construction. It’s too plasticy, too small, too light, and too unbalanced, just not a very well-constructed device. Now, the camera is also a little bit too low resolution if it is going to be of any use. If you’re going to do QR codes, you’re probably going to use your camera phone. On the pro side, well at least it didn’t set my house on fire. The energy mouse is an interesting device because, on the Con side, I’d have to say it has a wierd port placement, you have the USB port on the back, you have the charging port on the front, you have the slot that carries the transceiver, which I don’t really like because it’s too easy to bump this off, and if you lose the transceiver the mouse is absolutely useless. Which is another con. Because they don’t give you a way to actually just connect this to a computer and use it as a wired mouse. On the pro side, it’s actually very well constructed. It’s got a good feel, it has a nice contour, it’s got a good weight and use, that 2700m Milliamp power battery comes in pretty handy. I’d like to see how it stands up to rigorous use. The Death Adder is a fantastic device. Quick fun fact, I was born left-handed but I forced myself to use by right hand, because we didn’t have things like this. Nice construction, nice material, very responsive motion, very smooth motion, even the buttons are top notch. On the con side, well I can’t really think of any, it’s so well constructed and properly priced, now this is good but this, the Nascita is great. This is truly an executive mouse. Everything from the size and the weight, to the modeling, the construction just feels right. I even like the fact that they have that little LCD screen so that I can use the DPI switch without having to use a computer client. They did so many things right about this mouse. And the only con is price. It’s just less than $100. It is a bit on the pricy side, but then again, you get what you pay for. So try, buy or don’t buy. For the Cam mouse, it has to be a don’t buy. For the Energy mouse, I’m going to give it a try. I want to see exactly how long it will stand up to travel use before I can give it a solid buy. And for the Death Adder and the Nascita, absolutely a buy. I’m father Robert Ballecer for Before You Buy.

Leo: I agree with Robert, the Death Adder is actually the gaming mouse I use, but remember I’m a lefty so that eliminates a lot of mice, the fact that the Death Adder is agnostic to which hand you use, really for me is a big, big selling point. Now, I’ve been watching Black Magic for a long time. You’ve been watching Black Magic if you’ve been watching TWiT. All of our converters are Black Magic our switchers are Black Magic they’re really, the kings of high end, but relatively low cost video production equipment. When they came out, and I think it was a couple of CESes ago, with their cinema cameras, I was blown away. These were cameras that were designed to be very simple, relatively inexpensive but give you super high quality imaging. We thought we’d get the newest cinema camera 2.5K out to our photography gurus, Russell of course, Russel Tammany our IT guy, who is a fantastic photography guy. And Anthony Neilson, one of our editors who, of course, deals with video all the time. Give them a chance to look at this very interesting new camera. I can’t wait for this review. Here we go Anthony and Russell with the Cinema 2.5K.

Russell Tammany: Hi, I’m Russell Tammany.

Anthony Nielson: I’m Anthony Nielson

Russell: And today we’re reviewing the Black Magic cinema camera 2.5k. So this camera is pretty unique, its Black Magic’s first, or sort of entry or foray into the field of professional video cameras, and they’ve built a really interesting product. This is basically a 2.5k video sensor that’s mounted in a body with the cannon ESK mount. So for the connectors on the side, we have a headphone connector and we got two audio imports. Now, these are fully balanced quarter inch jacks. There’s an STI out connecter as well, and below that is a thunderbolt connecter, which can be used for recording a video directly onto MAC, or for looking at scopes. But it can’t be used for transferring files off. And there’s also a power connecter that can be used for charging the internal battery. It can also be used for powering it off a portable battery pack or a wall adaptor.

Anthony: On the other side we have an SSC dock where it’ll record videos in multiple formats. Including Apple Pro rez 422, high quality, DNX HT for avid, and then also….

Russell: It’s the cinema DNG rod.

Anthony: Two  5k

Russell: You have 12 bit in raw and 10 bit in the pro res in DNXHT, which is very high quality video whether you use the raw or the pro res in DNXHT.

Anthony: And for the display it’s actually a touch display, where you can double tab to get a 1to1 pixel ratio. So you can actually control the focus, and also you just tap and enter meta data.

Russell: And all the controls are rather simple. It’s all touch screen based, so you can enter into a menu and then go through the options and settings. There’s really not too many options and settings.

Anthony: Yeah

Russell: You won’t really be overloaded with how many options there are.  Which on a lot of professional cameras you’ve got to get out the manual and read the manual to figure out what everything means. But it’s a real simple product, it’s basically what time of format do you want to record in? What’s your ISO and white balance, really not much other than that.

Anthony: Other features, you have your iris which will automatically make sure you’re not clipping your exposer, so you’re just right under a hundred percent exposure then also focus, which will highlight the focus area.

Russell: This really isn’t the normal kind of product that we’d review here on Before You Buy. Because it’s not really intended to be a consumer product. It’s really intended to be a professional video recorder. And as being a professional video recorder there’s sort of some limitations to that. This produces some absolutely stunning quality video. However, you’re not going to just take it out of the box and get that level quality of video, without having the right equipment. Or the right production and the right preparation. So one of the things you might notice is that it’s not easy to just grab and hold. It doesn’t really have a way to just hold it steady. You really want to have like a focus set up, you want to have  amounting rig.

Anthony: A shoulder rig.

Russell: A cage. you want to have all this gear that you bolt onto so you can effectively use this camera. It doesn’t necessarily come ready to shoot and ready to go.

Anthony: No.

Russell: Obviously you’re going to need a lens. The crop factor is somewhere between 2.3 and 2.4 x, and that’s relatively significant because you’re general crop cameras are only somewhere around 1.6 to 1.7. And it can take your 35 mm lens and turn it into a 85 mm telephoto. And then there’s also a compatibility list. Not every single Cannon EF lens works with aperture control, or works perfectly with it. So you still might want to take a look at that list before assuming it’s going to work with your lenses.

Anthony: We should also mention that this camera comes in a micro for thirds

Russell: Yeah, so there’s a micro for thirds.

Anthony: Which is closer to the actual native size.

Russell: A micro for thirds is a lot closer to the actual native sensor size.

Anthony: One of the big features of this camera is it has 13 stops of dynamic range.

Russell: What that means, in stops of dynamic range, what it means in practice is that you can shoot a scene that has a lot of contrast from dark to bright. But what you get back from that file is sort of more like a raw image. It’s a lot like what you’d get from a DSLR, without processing the image at all. It’s sort of like you haven’t applied contrast and saturation. Sort of like color grading, so what you see in the film profile when you get it back is a very flat and neutral image. And at first you’re wondering why does this image look like this? This camera is supposed to be amazing. And then as you take the image in and process it, you realize that you can bring whatever character you want out of that image. You can, you know, make it poppy, and vivid, and sharp. You can make it muted and look a lot like natural film. And you have all the latitude of actually working with the video once you get it back, to make creative decisions in your time line. Where I had 38 minutes of this video, and now I can go in a take each individual section and decide how I wanted to process that section. And how I want it to look and want color profile I want it to have. So to get the dynamic range and the most quality out of the camera you have to shoot it in the 2.5K raw mode

Anthony: Correct

Russell: And when you do that, how much can I fit on a 250 k SP?  Raw is relatively large.

Anthony: It’s about 5 megabits per frame. So on a 256 at 24 frames you’d run out in 30 minutes.

Russell: Okay. So for every thirty minutes you’re going to have about 250 gigabytes of video.

Anthony: Right. And then not only that, you’re going to have to ingest it using Black Magics Adventure Resolve, which they actually include with this which is a pretty good deal. Seeing that’s $1,000.

Russell: Yeah, so that’s Black Magics kind of color grading and processing software. For pros and cons, we both basically, did them separately, and then looked at our notes. We realized we both have the same pros and cons.

Anthony: One is like, it’s just a little under $2,000 dollars, it’s like…

Russell: The pro is this is $2,000 and this fantastic quality video. It’s sort of like the difference in shooting jpeg and raw on a DSLR.

Anthony: Which comes to our next pro. Picture quality, which was just amazing.

Russell: Picture quality, I’ve shot stuff on a lot of SLRs and cameras and things like that, and I’ve not seen video quality like this, you know back on my, you plug it back in load the video up on premier final cut and you look at the video, and this is like, wow, it’s production quality. It’s something you could put out on a major network.

Anthony: My next pro, is the reason why you can tweak that image. It’s the recording formats which, you know, on an SLR you’ll have mpeg5….

Russell: Yeah, and SLR already records to some sort of compressed, avc, you know, kind of format where you get this kind of compressed look, and now you have to take that compressed look, and edited it and compress it again.

Anthony: Okay, your cons?

Russell: The first major con I noticed was the audio issue. You know, you can’t the onboard mike is really terrible.

Anthony: Basically so you have audio in your track so you can sink up your clean audio, that you can use on a recorder after the fact

Russell: Yeah, it’s not meant to be used as audio track.

Anthony: No, definitely not.

Russell: It picks up the fan noise, even when you use the quarter inch tracks on the side. They are balanced, so you can actually use an actual SLR microphone with them, with the right cable. However, it won’t provide phantom power, and the audio quality of it just didn’t seem that great. So I would highly recommend using an external recorder and just syncing in the audio.

Anthony: The other con is there is no media management on the camera itself. You’re going to have to pull the hard drive out.

Russell: Right, so you saw we could label the clips.

Anthony: Yeah, you could label the clips just fine and you know, add tags and you could play through them but there’s no way to delete it.

Russell: There’s no way to delete the clip it and if you were accidently recording a bunch and you wanted to kill that clip…

Anthony: No

Russell: You have dump it to a computer.

Anthony: Yeah, and there is actually no way of seeing how much space is left on the hard drive either.

Russell: Right. And I think my final comment, you agree with as well, is just the battery life. The built in battery, it’s nice that it has it as opposed to not having a built in battery.

Anthony: Right, right.

Russell: But it really doesn’t last long enough to actually use in the field so you’re going to have to be carrying around battery packs, which are a little clunky and then you got a cable to attach.

Anthony: Yeah, it would have been nice if it had an interchangeable battery.

Russell: That’s the big problem, there’s no way to really swap the battery for another battery. Which means that you have to have a battery pack with the DC adapter.

Anthony: Buy, try, don’t buy?

Russell: Considering all the features of the camera and the kind of, you know, it’s got some cons, but you know I think the pros outweigh the cons.

Anthony: Definitely

Russell: I think it’s a buy. It’s something that you would have to consider. I sort of wanted to give it a try, but I think I have to give it a buy. Because if you’re the person that’s looking for this type of camera, there is nothing else in that price range that you can touch. So it’s definitely a buy. And you can use all the money you save to buy all of the other gear and the tripod and the cages and audio records and SFDs and the lenses.

Anthony: And the shoulder mount and everything. I definitely agree with you. It’s definitely a buy. If you’re that up and coming video maker, this is the thing you’re looking for.

Leo: That’s the Black Magic 2.5K. There’s also a 4K Black Magic camera, it’s a little bit more expensive. But I have to say, it sounds like a lot $2,000. But I agree with them, it is crazy good for what you get. And we’ve really been looking at actually replacing our cameras with these Black Magic cameras. Because we can use super high quality lenses and you get such a great systematic affect. Thank you very much Russell and Anthony. You can just put the camera on my desk on your way out. Thanks so much. Now, let me show you my new baby. If you watched MacBreakWeekly earlier today, you saw me fondling the MacPro, and I owe a real debt of gratitude to a guy named Ed Engburg. He is a ham and a watcher a viewer, he owns the brick. He bought this MacPro. I think they went on sell at, what Dec. 19th ? And if you didn’t get up at midnight and order it, you still don’t have it. Only the people who ordered in the first few hours before 3 am, were able to get their MacPros before the end of the year. The rest of us, including me had to wait. Now Ed bought his, he says at 1 am, and decided he didn’t want it. He though you know, as great as the MacPro looks to be, it’s very expinsive I just need an IMac. So he shoot me an email and said, “Would you like to take my MacPro? You know, buy it from me at cost.”  And I said yes! So that’s how we have one so early. A lot of you are still waiting for your MacPro. We all saw the Apple reveal, in fact who can forget Phil Shiller, the director of marketing at Apple, showing off this amazing extruded aluminum cylinder back at the world wide developers conference in June. And saying, “Can’t innovate my ass.” Well it is innovative, in fact this is a very interesting design. At first, and I have to say I was one of many people who kind of poo-pooed it saying, “Oh they’re just showing off.” But I have to tell you, they’re not. This design is actually very practical. This is a very dense, thick, extruded aluminum, so of course this conducts. There’s’ only one fan and it’s a big fan in the bottom that blows air up through a hollow core, a thermal core in the middle and then out the top. So the key on the new MacPro is that you have to keep the bottom clear and the top clear. Now I’ve exercised this thing like crazy, I’ve made it hardest things I’ve ever made a computer do, and it never even broke a sweat. It didn’t even get hot. It’s awesome. Dead silent, so quiet that when I first hooked up an external drive I said, “what is that whining sound?” “Is it my MacPro? Oh, it’s the hard drive inside the external drive.  This thing is silent. So a beautiful, but very functional design. They highlighted the fact that when you turn it, it lights up the connecters. Let’s take a look at the connecters. You’ll see four USB 3 connectors. There are six thunderbolt 2 connectors, 2 gigabit Ethernet ports, and of course, audio in and out. And then the usual HTMI port, on and off switch, and power plug. That’s it, this is…oh there’s one more switch. I don’t know what’s going to happen, but I’m going to take a chance. You can also, well I’ll have to disconnect everything, but you can lift this off, I should do that shouldn’t I? I’ll do it at the end, I’ll tell you what, because I have to disconnect everything. But you can lift this off and look inside, and you see what a beautiful design this is. No moving parts, which is one reason this is so quiet. SSD drives, dual PCI express busses, that means they’re very, very fast. The ROM is removable, and upgradable. One of the few things you can upgrade in here. Although other world computing, when they took it apart, and I fixed it too, noted that the CPU was socketed. So in theory, you can upgrade the CPU at some point down the road. You can also, in theory upgrade the duel video cards in here. Now the starting configuration is a whopping $3,000. And by the way, that doesn’t include mouse, monitor, keyboard, just the cylinder, a plug, and two black apple stickers. $3,000. You may be spending even more, you’ll see, the next level, up, the six way Intel Zon e5 running at 3.5 gigahertz is $4,000 for 16 gigs of rams and you can go on up. You’re probably going to want to load it up because the type of people who are buying this are not so price sensitive. They’re professionals who are editing video, rendering 3D objects, doing high end Photoshop. Something that they need a lot of speed because, frankly, this is overkill for almost everybody else. If you’re doing spread sheets, if you’re doing simple Photoshop, you don’t need this. And the fact that it’s so expensive, perhaps makes it prohibitive in terms of something you want to have on your desk. You’ll not how small it is. You really don’t get a since of it until you get into it. It’s easy to lift. I shouldn’t have flipped that switch. Well as long as we’ve done that and rebooted the machine, lets unplug this and I’ll show you what’s inside of here. I flipped this unlocked switch, so now we can just lift this off. Here’s the fan, and here’s the thermal cord going through. The CP is underneath through here. It’s got dial Cpus. There’s one, there’s the other one on top of that. I believe that’s the hard drive. This is three ram on standard sticks there, and the connectors. The reason there’s so many connecters well there’s really very little you can upgrade in here. You’re absolutely going to want to get an… for instance, an external thunderbolt 2 dive. You’re going to want to get a 4k monitor, its fast enough to support that, but here’s the problem, if you buy it right now, they’re very few good thunderbolt 2 choices in fact, as far I can tell, there’s only one or two. Almost all of them are coming soon. You don’t want to get a thunderbolt 1 drive. This is for instance a buffalo drive. With a thunderbolt interface but it’s not very fast, it’s a slow drive inside and really this is basically just a USB 3 device that they’ve added a thunderbolt interface too. It’s in all lively hood to keep up with the speed on this you’re going to want to get a thunderbolt 2 and a SSD drive. Those are going to cost you more than the computer itself. Furthermore, if you really want to take advantages of the 4k display, there’s only one in the Apple store right now. That’s the Shark for $3500. There is an Asus out there right now that supports the faster refresh rates you want. That is also $3,000. The inexpensive 4k displays we’re seeing from companies like Lenovo and CES, are only 30 hertz refresh rates and I do not request them. So $3000 to start for a MacPro, and another $3000 for a single 30 inch monitor. And you’re probably going to want a rating closure with SSD or very fast hard drives on the thunderbolt2. That’s going to set you back at least $1,500. Suddenly you realize that this is a $10,000 computer, and most people don’t need it, but if you’re one of the people who does it is a wonderful thing. I have to say, I don’t need it. But I brought it home, I fired it up, started playing with it and I fell in love immediately. This is a computer with personality. Apple is the best at making computers that makes you just kind of love them.  I love the design, I was little skeptical at first. If you need a computer with this kind of power, and you know who you are, there is nothing, no PC, nothing, that can compare to the brand new 2013 MacPro. Pros and cons. The pros of course the design, the industrial design is gorgeous. Well thought out and highly functional. Really does the job. It’s also extraordinarily fast. When I did the benchmarks on the SST, I saw speeds that I’d never seen before. It reads… According to the Black Magic internal disk mark, it reads these internal SSDs at very close to a gigabyte per second. Imagine transferring data at a gigabyte per second! Unbelievable! The cons. Well, you’re going to need some very expensive peripherals. In fact, the whole thing is just ridiculously expensive. However, I’ve got to say, if you’re the person who needs this kind of speed or if you’ve got enough money and you have an appreciation for design. There’s no question this is a buy. I like this better than I thought. This is the Mac Pro 2013. Apples just knocked this one out of the park. And that’s it Before You buy, I hope you enjoyed our show. Thanks to our producer Shannon Morris, and all of our reviewers. And thanks you for watching . We now do Before You Buy on Tuesday afternoons, right after security now. So given Steve’s prolixity that’s probably about 3:30 PC time 6:30 Eastern time. Let’s do some quick Math here. 2330 Utc on TWiT.tv. We do love it if you watch live. But never fear there’s always the on Demand versions of this show. After the fact audio, video, at twit.tv/byb and of course, as I mentioned, on YouTube at youtube.com/beforeyoubuy. I’m Leo Laporte. Thanks for joining us. Remember, you gotta watch Before You Buy.. We’ll see you next time Bye bye.