Category: Reviews

Stef’s Select — May/June 2016


This one is very late — bear with me, I’m still tweaking this monthly gear roundup — but here’s my picks for the months of May and June. This gear guide is also getting closet to becoming a sort of lifestyle roundup for things I’m doing in SoHo and generally, around New York City. That however, will probably start happening next month. Also, I apologize to the readers of this small corner of the internet, that I’ve been so tardy, even with monthly updates. Such slack cannot be tolerated.

For now, read on for impressions of gear I messed with for the past two months.

Stef’s Select — April 2016

L1130783Welcome, reader.

As some of you may know, I started writing at TechCrunch. In short, it’s pretty awesome, especially since I’ve been writing about technology for nearly seven years (as of this post), starting when I was just 12-years-old. Now I’m 19, in my first year of college. Smart work does equate positive results.

It’s been a long, incredible journey that really is just getting started.

But of course, I couldn’t leave this site for ruin. It’s easy to get attached, but I think I might have a solution to keeping my old creation updated: longer-form updates. That will include my commentary on gadgets and gear, interesting lifestyle things I come across, and maybe a shoot or two with model friends.

Starting with a new section I’ll call Stef’s Select, where I go over the gear I’ve been testing, say a few kind (or critical) words about it, and of course pair it with my photography. So, here goes…

Samsung Galaxy S7 review: when just a little better can be a lot

L1130292The Samsung Galaxy S7, already? Oh, it’s very real and it’s very fast. But most importantly, it takes the formula seen with the last generation, and instead of completely revamping, makes the necessary tweaks to give a better overall experience.

Samsung hasn’t really done that before: every incarnation of the Galaxy S has been a major physical or internal improvement; the S7 has some of the most subtle changes in recent memory. However, these new subtleties make for a fantastic phone.

Master & Dynamic ME05 Earbuds Review: I Might Have Caved

DSCF2004I don’t normally review earphones, but when I do, they have to be close to the experience of their more powerful, larger counterparts: headphones. Otherwise, I despise them.

My main gripe with the category of earbuds — despite their portability and ease-of-use — is that they’re usually wired and don’t come remotely close to the audio experience of using great headphones, especially noise-cancelling models.

But, Master & Dynamic is definitely in the upper echelon of producing headphones, and when given the chance to check out a review unit ME05 — well, I was much obliged to see if I could learn, or experience something better.

Leica SL Review: To Make Great Creations

DSCF0639This is only the second time I’ve had a Leica camera in my possession for a review — the first time, I reviewed the Q, a masterpiece of a fixed-lens camera. Well, the German camera manufacturer of great esteem has decided to pursue the pro photography market, with another full-frame mirrorless camera, but with some additional touches that put it in a class of its own, costs included.

Want a synopsis? I can say without a doubt, never have I felt more empowered with a camera on the streets of Manhattan.

Fujifilm X100T Review: The Pro Toy

L1120012There’s a Japanese camera manufacturer by the name of Fujifilm — and they’re rather good at what they do, despite being behind better-known counterparts — one starts with an “N” and the other with a “C” — however, that doesn’t matter. When Fujfilm has a camera as small and lightweight as this one, with all the tech needed to make great photographs — 16 megapixels are enough; the spec-wars aren’t important in this context.

So let’s get to it: the chance to work with one of their most-beloved cameras: the X100T. It’s a small, mirrorless camera with a fixed lens, but with the control and quality to stand-in for a bigger, more expensive camera in a pinch.

Also, it looks rather charming.

Helly Hansen Nordnes Boot Review: How Classy Of You

DSCF0434It’s late winter in New York City, a time where you still have to wield layers of clothing, but also still be fashionable. It’s kind of the de facto rule of living in NYC: you gotta be warm, but it’s best you look good doing it.

Frankly, to each their own, but when Helly Hansen offered to let me walk around in my own pair of men’s chelsea-style boots, I had to say yes. And yes, I think these will work for the spring, too.