Category Archives: Technology

Neewer lapel/lavalier mic for vlogging

The Neewer lapel mic has to be one of the best bargains of 2018.  This mic is marketed for vlogging with an Android or iPhone with the standard 3.5mm jack.  On a whim, I decided to get it for my Fuji X-E3 camera.  I also bought a 3.5mm-2.5mm adapter so I can plug it into my Fuji X-E3.  To be honest, I didn’t know what to expect at all and half expected that it wouldn’t work.  Not only did it worked, it worked really well!  And here’s the kicker… you get 3 of them for $4.99!  I’m not kidding… a 3-pack of these guys go for $4.99.  The adapter cost me $5.07 – more than the mics!
Check out my YouTube video below on the sound quality.  Is it the best out there?  Probably not, but it sounds really good to me and at less than $2 a mic, you really can’t go wrong.  So yes, it’s 2018 but bargains can still be had.  Even now, this has got to be the best bargain I’ve ever bought!

Update 2: Cancelling my Google Pixel 2 XL Pre-Order

One more thing on this topic… a colleague had his Pixel 2 XL delivered on launch day and I had a chance to play with it live. The blueish tint that bothered the hell out of me was on his as well. It didn’t bother him as much so maybe you’ll react differently to it but that was a deal breaker for me. I had a chance to take some photos and videos with it and he was kind enough to share it with me. I was really interested in how Google’s AI and portrait mode would work with a single lens, compared to a dual lens set up. Bottom line? Not very well, even with a simple portrait. Check out this photo:

Portrait mode was activated.  Pretty simple subject right?  A person in front of a stone wall, with high contrast and very good separation.  No flying hair to worry about, etc.  The wall was about the same distance to the phone across the frame.  But look at that result.  The lower right of the wall by the monitor is in sharp focus.  The back of the monitor is in sharp focus.  And the blurring of the wall across the frame is uneven.  Edge separation is barely OK.  If you just look at it quickly, it’s not bad.  Maybe I was expecting too much, but this isn’t impressive from a $1,000 phone.  Perhaps the results will get better over time or when Google decides to turn on the Pixel’s extra visual cores.

But for now, call me unimpressed.  What do you think?

UPDATE: Cancelling my Google Pixel 2 XL pre-order

I finally had time to go down to the Verizon store today to see with my own eyes the potential display issues. I can say for sure that cancelling my pre-order was absolutely the right thing to do. The deal breaker for me was actually that blue tint. It was immediate as soon as you move the phone from straight on and it was damn annoying. At half brightness, I was bothered by it right away. There’s absolutely no reason why that should be the case on a $1,000 phone. The 5″ Google Pixel 2 with the Samsung AMOLED screen looked way better.

As for the other two issues that was raised, I didn’t see the graininess in regular use. So that wouldn’t have killed it for me. I did notice the duller colors. That wasn’t as bad as I had expected but it’s noticeable. So in all, I’m very glad to have cancelled the order. That blue tint issue would have driven me crazy. I’m now going through with my back-up plan. Get a first generation Pixel with a lot of storage for the free Google Photos storage and wait until next year.

I cancelled my Google Pixel 2 XL pre-order

I was very excited to read about the new Google Pixel 2 XL and eagerly placed my pre-order for a black, 128 GB Pixel 2 XL. Work gave me a new iPhone 7 Plus to use shortly after buying the new house. But somehow in the move to the new house, I’ve misplaced my Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge, which I LOVED! I was ready after a few months on the iPhone to go back to Android and yearn for a pure experience with Android Oreo. After placing the order though and having had a chance to do more research, I concluded that the changes weren’t enough to merit me spending $1,000+ on a device, even at 0% financing over 24 months.

The important features for me is the camera and the unlimited Google Photos storage. However, while DXOMark gave the camera high marks, their ratings/methodologies are a bit suspect. Seeing real samples, I concluded that Google’s portrait mode just isn’t ready for prime time yet. For all the touting they’ve done about how smart the camera is, even without having some of the Pixel’s visual cores turned on, the end result pales in comparison to the iPhone’s two lens set up in the plus model or any other dual lens set up for that matter. The other benefits of the Pixel 2 camera just wasn’t enough to justify the HUGE capital outlay. As for unlimited Google Photos storage, that’s nice but it’s only good until 2020. In any case, I’ve found a way around that. I’m just going to buy a used 128 GB Pixel 1 phone and use it exclusively to upload photos and videos. No other apps and no upgrades ever that may compromise the phone. It’s just going to get me free photo storage. I don’t even care if the screen is cracked. Given that, I can afford to wait until after the Google Pixel 2 XL’s official release when the Pixel 1’s price will take a nosedive.

But what pushed me over the top? Reports that the LG P-OLED screen on the Pixel 2 XL is not all it’s cracked up to be. There’s a blue shift when you tilt the screen just a little bit away and graininess that’s going to be annoying. Plus, the natural color tuning of the Pixel 2 XL to the sRGB space doesn’t do anything for me. It may be realistic but it’s not pleasing. Combined all that with the over the top pricing, I’m happy to cancel and call it a day. After the hub bub dies down, I may re-order just to play with it live and then returning it in the 14 days or whatever the return policy is with Google just to see for myself. I suspect though that this is a sound decision I’ve made. I’m more than happy with the iPhone 7 Plus that was given to me so I’ll hold out… perhaps for the Samsung S9+. 🙂

Check my out my update to this post here:

Switching from AT&T after 10 years

AT&T is such a greedy company that I’ve finally decided to “un-carrier” myself from it and switch to T-Mobile in 2017. It’s been a 10-year relationship and I figure at my current spend of about $205/month (with a 23% corporate discount in there), I’m worth almost $25,000 to them in revenue for the next 10 years. But they’re greedy and I’m just sick and tire of them. Why?

1. A $20 upgrade fee whenever you buy a new device from them. It’s not a big number but when you can buy the EXACT same device next door and just plug in your SIM card, that’s just a rip-off and GREEDY.
2. A poor unlocking experience. They should make it so that your devices are automatically unlocked when they’re paid off rather than this process where you have to request it, confirm it and then wait. What a hassle.
3. No choices anymore on devices. Want a new device? You’re on their stupid NEXT plan whether you want to or not. Sure, you can pay it off early after you’re on the plan but they just make it too complicated.

Sorry for the rant but it’s one of THOSE videos! 😉

Anyways, T-Mobile has a great deal right now for no contract, no extra fees, etc. and unlimited data to boot. Do yourself a favor and switch!