Manfrotto Fluid video aluminum monopod

We recently had the opportunity to review Manfrotto’s Fluid video aluminum monopod. To put it mildy, we were very impressed.

Fluid video aluminum monopod with plateIt was really easy to use and quite portable as well.

If I could afford one, I would buy one now and use it all of the time.

According to Manfrotto:


The 562B-1 is a compact and high 4-section aluminium fluid monopod equipped with a 357PLV sliding camera plate adapter to adjust the camera’s center of balance. This fluid monopod is ideal for camcorders up to 17.6lb (8kg).

I really like the little feet on the bottom. I have used other monopod’s in the past, but this is the king or monopods, larger, more stable and it is easy to use. I am tall, over 6 feet, so I appreciate a monopod that extends long enough for me to use.

I tested the monopod with a Nikon J1, and it worked perfectly for all of the photo’s I had the chance to take with it. I also used it at CES 2015, and received all kinds of positive comments about the “cool monopod” according to other news folks and bloggers that I ran into at the event.

I also took it hiking and due to its durability it was effective as a walking stick as well on the trail too. I feel that anyone who is into outdoor adventuring, hunting, motorcycling or out door activities would love the Manfrotto  Fluid video aluminum monopod. I was really impressed with its design, durability and utility.

It combined a high level of utility with superb aesthetics and function.

That said, the panning action is smooth, and because it happens at the base, with practice, you have better control over the stability of the monopod while panning since both hands can create that movement, and you’re not having to use one hand to simply keep the monopod still while you pan with the other. You can, and should, use your whole body to make the pan. Tilt control is very nice as well and just as good as say a 701

The ‘bridging’ head is a great hybrid system, allowing quick release that us videographers are used to, plus the ability to click it back in place with quick fore and aft positioning.

The ball at the bottom is nice and stiff enough to let the monopod stand in place without holding on to it (but don’t walk too far away from it with your camera on it :-)

For more information go to

I wholeheartedly recommend Manfrotto for your tripod and lighting needs and am a huge fan.

In the Process of Testing and Reviewing the ByRobot Drone Fighter

We were given a Byrobot Drone figter to test at CES 2015:

We are huge fans of drones and want to really delve into the various types sizes, and brands.

So far we are quite impressed, and will do a follow up review of it once we more thoroughly test it. One of my teen age sons has been testing it as well and is quite impressed.

Here is a Youtube video that we were sent a link to from a flyover that the folks from Byrobot did at the Mirage Hotel in Las Vegas.


Sadly enough we do not, at this point have the camera.

We are still learning to fly the wee device but this is a cool image from Byrobots site showing the flight capabilities of the mini drone–>

So far it is a nice device.

The one thing that I wish it had was a gyroscope of some sort so that it can hover in place.

We will have a follow up article and some videos as well once we are more versed in flying it.

One nice aspect of the product is the quite decent flight simulator software that it comes with. One can plug the tiny controller that comes with the quadcopter into your pc and you can practice flying it in a virtual environment.


Preview of the Yezz Monaco 47 Windows Phone

Equipped with the latest version of the operating system Windows Phone 8.1 combining a 1.2 GHz QuadCore processor , with two SIM cards slots and a 13.1 million pixels camera to render the best of the image, Monaco 47 smartphone will appeal to the most demanding customers , through its unique design.
A touch of elegance to this exceptional case with its interchangeable battery covers ” Leather Touch ” branded MONACO , available in 3 colors in addition of your case portfolio that ensures you take your smartphone anywhere with discretion.

yezz 1

“We are extremely proud of our Monaco officially licensed 47 smartphone which, thanks to our agreements with Microsoft , makes this the thinnest and lightest Windows Mobile range . It is particularly refined to meet the requirements of the brand of the Principality of Monaco with 3 battery cover and case portfolio , all manufactured with “Leather Touch” design. It will be equipped with all the applications partners MONACO Brand companies. ” said Robert Schiano, CEO of Avenir Telecom, the exclusive licensee of Monaco World Brands for smartphones and exclusive distributor of the brand Yezz in Europe, Africa , Middle East and Russia.
The latest smartphone in the Microsoft range under license from Monaco Brands world exclusive , the Monaco 47 manufactured by Yezz combines elegance and performance. Extremely light , weighing only 120 grams and 8.1 mm thickness making it the thinnest Windows Mobile, the Monaco 47 is a concentrate of technology
Press Release Marseille October 23rd 2014
Package Contents
1 Monaco 47 Smartphone 1 Flat Ear cable pedestrian kit 1 Plug Adapter multi-sector ( EU, UK , US, AUS) 1 Micro USB cable 1 Start Up Guide 3 Interchangeable Battery Covers ” Leather Touch ” 1 Case Portfolio ” Leather Touch ”
Main Technical Characteristics
3G HSPA 850/900/1900/2100 dual SIM Windows OS 8.1 QuadCore processor Snapdragon 1.2 GHz Cortex A7 8GB ROM RAM 1 GB Micro SD up to 128 GB Dimensions 135.8 * 67.2 * 8.1 mm Weight 120 g Size 4.7 inches HD resolution Photo 13.1 MP Camera + Front 5MP Flash with integrated torch function Bluetooth 4.0 Micro USB 2.0 Port
About Yezz
Yezz is an international manufacturer of mobile devices , designed with the goal that every consumer can freely choose a smartphone or tablet corresponding to his lifestyle. Founded in 2012 in Miami , it took a little less than two years of innovation and perseverance in Yezz to become a leading brand in Latin America. Thanks to its partnerships with leading software vendors and telecommunication Yezz offers its customers more and more design and performance. As the creator of the philosophy of ” Freestyle Mobile ” Yezz designs appliances ultrathin design, cutting-edge fashion, thus combining all consumer needs in entertainment or professional use it all with Freestyle * . Yezz offers a wide selection of phones running Android and Windows Phone operating systems, and a wide range of colors and screen size. Yezz has distinguished itself by running in February 2014 the first phone to less than 19 euros with WhatsApp integrated in March 2014 the first mobile octocore Europe and in September 2014 the thinnest Windows Phone in the market, for the first time. To always satisfy its customers , Yezz includes accessories with most of the mobile such as: charging bases , protective cases, interchangeable covers to personalize your phone .
To learn more about Yezz visit: , , , or Twitter YEZZMobile
About Avenir-Telecom
Avenir Telecom is one of Europe’s leading distributors of products and services for mobile phones. The Group distributes mobile phones, accessories ( Energizer Beewi , Oxo ) , directly through its network of own stores and the Internity from hypermarkets and independent retailers . Avenir Telecom employs nearly 2,000 people in 6 countries: France , UK , Spain , Portugal, Romania and Bulgaria. Avenir Telecom is listed on Eurolist – Compartment B (Euronext Paris ) . The Avenir Telecom is part of the CAC All shares , CAC Mid & Small 190 , CAC Small 90 , CAC IT , Next 150, SBF 250 and Next Economy
ISIN: FR0000066052 Reuters: AVOM.LN Bloomberg: AVT: FP
For further information, please contact : Mme JACOULOT Peggy Tel. +33-4-88-00-61-23
About Monaco Brands
MONACO BRANDS – Brand of the State of Monaco S.A.M. Monaco is a limited company whose majority shareholder is the state, and whose mission is to protect, enhance and control the proper use of trademarks in the Principality. ” Monaco ” and ” Monte Carlo” are the most famous brands in international management , and MONACO BRANDS is committed to the protection of the country’s image and its brands . For further information, please connect or email

We are intrigued by Yezz’s devices and would love to test and review some of them!!


Tobii Declares 2015 ‘Year of Consumer Eye Tracking’ at International CES

Tobii gaze in Gaming

STOCKHOLM & LAS VEGAS— Dec. 29, 2014 — Tobii Tech, the global leader in eye tracking, will showcase how pioneering consumers will take eye-tracking technology out of the lab and into their daily lives in 2015. From the world’s first consumer eye tracker developed in partnership with premier gaming gear brand SteelSeries to the first steps in eye-tracking wearables, Tobii will give a first glimpse into what is waiting for consumers in the coming months. Visit Tobii during CES in Las Vegas at Tech West Sands Booth No.71837, Jan. 6-9.

“2015 will be the year that eye-tracking makes first entry into consumer markets and consumers have their first tangible experiences with real eye-tracking products in the wild — first with gaming, then with ergonomics and eventually general computer use,” said Oscar Werner, president of Tobii Tech. “We are well-poised to bring new products to market, not only as Tobii, but also with numerous world-class partners in these industries. We are thrilled about moving from prototypes to real products, games and apps.” 

Attendees will be among the first to try the following products, exclusively at the Tobii booth:

  • SteelSeries Sentry – Shipping January 2015, the world’s first gaming eye tracker for streamers, e-sports competitors and those seeking to enhance their game strategy, will be shown only at the Tobii booth, where participants can get their first real demonstrations of how eye-tracking will revolutionize gaming. A 2015 CES Innovations Honoree, the Sentry peripheral is now available for pre-order at

o   Watch popular streamers and Sentry users CEH9 and Wagamama play live, Jan. 6-7, at the Tobii booth and on Twitch.

  • Tobii Glasses 2 – See Tobii’s second-generation wearable eye tracker in action. Already shipping for research customers, Tobii is now working with industry-leading partners in both augmented and virtual reality to integrate the world’s smallest eye-tracking technology into their wearables for gaming augmentation, training and professional applications. The Tobii Glasses 2 SDK will also debut in Q2 2015, allowing developers to start building eye-tracking applications for Glasses 2 as well as other third-party wearables.
  • Pizza Hut Subconscious Menu – This playful use of eye tracking in restaurant retail technology is already making big waves. Attendees will also have the opportunity to dig into their subconscious and see what they are really craving on their pizza.  

“When Tobii says ‘2015 is the year for consumer eye tracking,’ we couldn’t agree more,” said Ehtisham Rabbani, SteelSeries CEO. “From the overwhelming demand for the Sentry, to the comments from top streamers, journalists and gaming pros about eye tracking’s impact on future consumer devices, it is obvious that both SteelSeries and Tobii are more than ready to deliver in 2015.”

Tobii Arcade: Eye-tracking content also becomes a reality

Eye-tracking hardware is only half the story. Since CES 2014, developers from all over the world have joined Tobii in realizing great content for upcoming consumer eye trackers. Launching at CES Unveiled, Tobii Arcade will be the world’s first showcase of eye-tracking apps built with eye tracking in mind as a primary input.

With the following applications for demo at CES, attendees will also have the opportunity to explore various ways eye tracking will humanize user interfaces:

  • Tobii Game Analyzer – A tool for competitive gamers to gain completely new insights into the game. Get stats about what is seen and processed during a game and find the keys to winning behavior in a player’s style. Ships with SteelSeries Sentry.
  • Tobii EyeX Interactions – A Windows add-on that enables eye gaze as an additional input, creating a revolutionary experience with users able to wake the computer with a glance and “warp” the mouse to where they are looking.
  • Son of Nor by stillalive studios – Play an action-adventure game with players fighting enemies by using magical abilities with their eyes: telekinesis, terraforming powers and spell casting. Experience how eye tracking gives you a “third hand” and makes it possible to multitask by controlling your character and aiming at your enemies at the same time. You can simultaneously run in one direction and aim in another, just like in real life.
  • Overwolf Overlay – This application adds a rich layer of eye-tracking functionality to the Overwolf engine so gamers can gain insights, develop better strategies and increase the level of entertainment for their streaming audience.

This is only a small portion of the games and apps that will soon be made available on Tobii Arcade. 2015 will also witness strong growth in eye-tracking content from the Tobii developer community, both from indie developers and globally recognized studios,” said Werner. “We will promote successful apps heavily, so we encourage developers to innovate and start creating — now — eye-tracking content that will soon impact consumers’ everyday lives.”

Members of the media can be some of the first to demo these products at Booth No. 1 during Unveiled, the official media event of CES, Jan. 4 from 4-7 p.m.

Related info

About Tobii Tech

Tobii EyeX Controller Wireframe

A division of Tobii, the global leader in eye-tracking, Tobii Tech focuses on taking Tobii’s leading eye-tracking technology to new high-volume markets including computers, gaming devices, vehicles and medical devices. The division’s customers integrate Tobii’s eye-tracking technology into various devices and applications and take this to market under their brand and channel. The division is in a strong investment phase to evolve its leading technology to meet the needs of larger-volume markets in terms of cost, power consumption, form factor and performance.

Tobii gaze in Gaming

Our view of the Manfrotto LED Light – Mini-24 Continuous

We recently had the opportunity to test and review Manfrotto’s LED Light – Mini-24 light. I am very impressed by the quality of their products.


According to Manfrotto
They say:

The ML240 Mini LED light is small enough to fit in a camera case or small bag, but fully-featured enough for versatile use with compact cameras and smartphones. It can be hand held, mounted on a flash hotshoe or fitted to any number of Manfrotto supports via its standard ¼” thread.

The ML240’s 24 LEDs emit continuous light at a constant temperature of 5600°K (daylight), with an illuminance of 220 LUX at a distance of 1m. Its infinitely variable dimmer allows precise control over light output and exposure. The ML240 is a useful compact light, often less harsh than an on-camera flash for photos of subjects close to the camera and good for very low-light close-up video shots, or for specific, quick off-camera applications like macro photography. When fitted onto a DSLR shoe, a handy 3200K LED lights your camera controls to assist you in low light conditions.

I tried it out in a couple of different environments and as well as subject matter. I used it at an Ice Rink outside to shoot video of people on the ice and for photos as well.

It was quite effective in removing shadows and improving contrast, and making the images look better.

I could see how if one was shooting video they might want 3 of the wee lights one for each side and one on the camera or one directly behind the camera.

I also used one of the Mini 24’s for close up photography of items around the office to see how they worked. I was impressed by the overall quality.

The Manfrotto ML240 Mini-24 LED Panel is a LED light that attaches to your DSLR, Micro Four Thirds, or other compact camera, for shooting video under 5600K daylight. The Mini light features a shoe mount at the bottom for attachment to the hot shoe of your camera, and the shoe mount features a 1/4″ thread underneath it for attachment to various 1/4″ gear, such as articulating arms.
There is also an accessory that one can get to mount the light as well for cameras without a hot shoe to hold the light.See ( The Pixi is a small solution for mounting it.
pixi manfroto

Overall I was impressed by the Mini-24’s size, design, light weight and its’ utility for improving the quality of videos and photographs.
It made the objects being photographed look more natural and reduced shadowing as well.

I was impressed as well by an accessory that I found on the internet that will allow you to use the Manfrotto Mini-24 with a smart phone as well called the Klyp. I did not get to test it, but it seems to allow you to video and take photos from your smart phone with the video light. It would be great to have one of the devices to use with my smart phone for photos. It would be really nice for trade shows to shoot a quick product video as well like at CES 2015.

klyp accessory

My opinion of the Manfrotto Mini-24 Led is quite high. I would definitely recommend it for anyone that needs to shoot video or take photos from a compact system camera or SLR camera or a smart phone and needs a simple but easy to use solution for improving the lighting in the scenes that are being photographed or video’d.

Alexander Gerst’s Earth awesome timelapses from the ISS!

I found this amazing video of the earth By Alexander Gerst one of the Astronauts who spent time on the International Space Station

A selfie of Alexander Gerst that he took of himself from space–>

I found in on Http://

Hollywood Sound, Powersoft, Symetrix and Yamaha Bring Networked Audio Alive at Temple Israel of Hollywood

For immediate distribution

Latest upgrade in Miller Hall enables the efficient distribution of 200-channels of high quality, low latency audio

Los Angeles, December 22, 2014 – Established in 1926, Temple Israel of Hollywood continues to be a beacon for Reform Jewish traditions and values. Today this multi-purpose cultural and worship center hosts an increasingly diverse selection of events, with many taking place in its principal venue – the exquisitely appointed Miller Hall.



The fully equipped 5,000 sqft. ballroom stages a mix of live performances, cinema screenings and religious services. Clients are able to make use of an impressive AV infrastructure comprising over 200 channels of low-latency audio – which was recently the subject of a substantial overhaul courtesy of Hollywood Sound Systems (HSS).141222-hollywoodsound

firm’s Brett M. Grossman served as digital systems design/programming lead on the project, and recalls that Temple Israel approached HSS with the core concept of “updating the digital technologies involved and moving forward with a best of breed audio networking solution” – the regular need to reconfigure the layout and change the mix position according to event type effectively demanding a flexible networking solution. Now, every physical input and output is individually addressable, while remaining space-efficient and allowing for the possibility of future expansion.

To meet the project’s unique requirements, Hollywood Sound Systems set about devising a system based around products from Powersoft, Symetrix and Yamaha.


One of the most important decisions during the design process is what brands to trust,” says Grossman. “We chose Powersoft, Symetrix and Yamaha because they make our designs flexible, expandable, and dependable without sacrificing the quality of sound. Our systems perform because these brands perform.”

graphics 2

Condensed into an “insanely small-rack space”, the Powersoft specification packs a robust 26 channels of amplification derived from two Ottocanali 8K4s, one Ottocanali 12K4 and one Duecanali 3904. Introduced in 2013, these Ottocanali models incorporate Class D topologies for high output power – up to 12,000 Watts over eight channels for the 12K4 – while the Duecanali 3904 delivers notably energy-efficient performance from a 1U format.

Regarding what is Hollywood Sound Systems’ first substantial installation of Powersoft equipment, Jon LeBlanc, Project Lead, says “We could not believe our ears the first time we turned them on. We A/B’d the amp against four of our other “go to” amps, and the Powersoft units won unanimously in a blind test of our entire shop. We’re really happy with the result.”

For the FOH mixer, Hollywood Sound Systems sought a desk that possessed “a small form factor and was easy to teach to operators” – a requirement satisfied by the new Yamaha QL5 digital audio console. Having served as a Yamaha Commercial Audio dealer since Yamaha entered pro audio in 1973, Hollywood Sound Systems is very familiar with all spheres of its pro-audio range, and so also they called on the company for a new loudspeaker system, choosing the Installation Series, and consisting of six IF2112/95s, four IF3115/95s, four IH2000/95s, one IL1115 and one IS1218 and two RIO3224 units.

Managing venue-wide signal processing is a pair of Symetrix SymNet Radius AEC open architecture Dante-scalable DSPs, equipped with AES option cards, along with xIn 12 and xOut 12 Dante network audio expanders. A long-term user of Symetrix products, Grossman describes SymNet Radius AEC as “one of my real go-to tools… we use it for a wide variety of projects.”

In the case of Temple Israel, he expects the Symetrix DSPs to have several specific benefits. For a start, the automixing capability will be a real advantage for those “smaller-scale events that basically have an operator-free set-up”. Meanwhile, the inclusion of the AEC (Acoustic Echo Cancellation) algorithm will become useful for “speech presentations, where the sound can be a bit ‘roomy’. Flipping on the AEC in a PA situation definitely allows some correction to take place.”

Work on the install was completed in November, and Hollywood Sound Systems’ efforts resulted in a “delighted” reaction from Temple Hall personnel. “They love the capabilities that the Dante network and the Dante-supporting products offer them,” says Grossman. “For example, every Yamaha speaker and floor wedge is individually addressable as part of the Dante network. The new infrastructure really sets them up for the new era of digital audio.”


1) Brett M. Grossman of Hollywood Sound, standing in front of the rack at Temple Israel of Hollywood.

2) View towards the stage at Temple Israel of Hollywood.

3) View of the mix position at Temple Israel of Hollywood.

4) The fully equipped 5,000 sqft. Ballroom at Temple Israel of Hollywood stages a mix of live performances, cinema screenings and religious services.

For further information, contact:

Jeff Touzeau (media contact)

Hummingbird Media

Tel : +1 (914) 602 2913


Francesco Fanicchi

Powersoft (Florence, Italy)

Tel: +39 346 9719798


Or visit

About Powersoft:

Powersoft is the world leader in lightweight, high power, single rack space, energy efficient amplifiers for the professional audio market. Founded in Italy in 1995, headquartered in Florence, Italy, with offices in Ventura, CA, Powersoft couples the experience and precision of its production department with exceptional components to deliver products with perfect audio response and high performance reliability. Its state-of-the-art amplifiers can be found in an array of markets, ranging from stadiums, sporting arenas, theme parks, performance venues and airports to convention centers, churches and clubs, and are used by the world’s leading tour sound companies. For more information, visit the Powersoft website @

Star Wars the Force Awakens Trailer and information!

We are looking forward to the new Star Wars Movie see–>

Here is a link to the IMDB details as well–>

The official site–>


Huawei Ascend Mate 2 not one of the big guys, but a big phone hits the US Market.

We recently had the opportunity to test and review the incredible Huawei Asendmate 2.

Huawei has been trying to gain a foot hold in the US market and now with this phone and the direct to consumer sales approach they may have a chance.

I had the opportunity to test it for about 6 weeks as my daily driver. I was impressed with the phone overall.

I liked:

–>The battery life was excellent

–>The screen quality was really decent

–>The design was quite nice.

What could be better:

–>The launcher needs and app drawer, I resolved the issue by using go launcher’s launcher instead.

—>The sound quality was decent but could have been better.

An image of the phone

It reminds of the Samsung Galaxy Mega, however the Ascendmate 2 uses a 1.8ghz quad core, and it has an impressive 4000 mah battery and 2gb of video ram.

It seems now a days, very-large phones have become so everpreset that giant phones are becoming common place. Personally I like them and this phone very much and part of the reason why is the size. The Ascend Mate 2 is over 6″ in seems, but it seems thin and comfortable in my hands. I am 6 foot 2″ tall and like the large design. To put that in perspective, the Ascend Mate 2 is both taller and wider than even a Galaxy Note 3 or 4.

It seems Huawei wanted to make a big impression here in the the US market. Since I am nearly 46 years old and I have less than average vision, so the larger screen size is quite nice. I liked that I can read Kindle Books on it without squinting and watching video on it as well as web browsing is great as well.

Huawei Ascend Mate 2 4G

More speed, more performance

4G LTE forlightning-fast downloads

Imagine the possibilities of a smartphone that opens the door to ultra-fast 4G LTE, giving you the chance to experience even more. Stream your favorite movies or shows without interruption, connect and chat with your family and friends via seamless video streaming, load web pages without waiting and enjoy a world where everything you do with your smartphone is faster, smoother, and better.


I had no issues with the phone and its’ performance using wifi and on AT&T and Crickets Networks.  I was very impressed with it. I was sad to have to send the demo phone back to Huawei. I really  liked it a great deal.

The Mate2 4G’s range of image enhancement technologies and advanced HD 13 megapixel rear camera means you can take amazing photos with every shot. Capture the moments that mean the most to you and enjoy extraordinary detail and life-like color with every single frame. All you need to do is point and tap, your Mate2 4G will take care of the rest.

I liked the camera and found it’s quality to be darn decent, and no worse than other phones that I had tested in the past like the Samsung Galaxy note too, and the HTC M7. It does not quite match up to all of the competition but is  quote decent.
The stock launcher is the emotion UI that like the Miui launcher that is prevalent in Asia lacks the app drawer commonly seen in phones in North America, though it was not hard to get used to it, I wound up using the Go Launcher instead off and on. It does have a more Iphone like feel than the typical android phone.
The demo phone that I was testing but from what I have heard and seen it ought to support Kitkat and Lollypop at some point soon.  When that happens the already decent phone could even better.
Here is an image from Huawei’s site showing the easy mode that the phone offers. It would be great for basic users or young folks.
The phone has a nice glove mode for people who live in cold climates and need use it with gloves on and it also has a nice one handed mode for those folks who want to use the phone with one hand. I found that both these modes were well implemented.
If you are interested in the phone it can be obtained here :

It does have cool windows on windows mode a sort of floating windows or widget over window feature that is kind of like the calculator in Mac OS:

In summary I was really impressed by the phone and would recommend it to anyone who needs a larger phone or a more affordable alternative to Samsung’s Note phones. The Samsung Galaxy Notes are smaller but have more features however for the money the Huawei Ascendmate 2 is a great phone for a super price.It is unmatched for what it brings to the table for the money.