I wanted to create a list of all the products I think really pushed the boundaries of tech this year, as well as offer a great value for you all to buy. This will be an annual list, and something I take very seriously. The products on this list have not only been purchased and used by me personally, but extensively reviewed, looking at things like durability/longevity, ease of use, and quality of life improvement. So without further ado, let’s get into the list.

Product of the Year

Sony a7III

This is the greatest camera release we’ve seen since 2012 when Canon released the 5D MK III. It’s not only because it’s the best consumer camera on the market, but because it completely changed the landscape of modern photography & videography. To put it simply, this camera released with specs that rivaled professional cinema cameras as well as high-end professional photo cameras, at 1/4 of the price. For only $2000, you’re getting a 24.2 megapixel Full Frame sensor, that shoots incredibly sharp and detailed photos with better dynamic range & low-light photo capabilities compared to cameras 2x its price. On top of that you can shoot Full Frame 4K video, down-sampled from a 6K fully read sensor, up to 30p, 1080p video up to 120p. On top of that, you’re getting some of the best PDAF auto-focus capabilities we’ve seen yet, 10fps RAW shooting with Zero Blackout with a silent shutter, battery life that lasts shooting photos all day a breeze as well as hours of 4K video, not too mention a USB-C port for battery bank usage, Zebra/Peaking, perfect in-body-stabilization allowing old legacy lenses to be stabilized, I could go on and on. It’s a spectacular value, all compounded by the fact Sony has seriously ramped up their lens selection, with native G-series lenses, Sigma Art lenses, and Zeiss lenses, all with native mounts. This is easily the best consumer camera Sony has ever put out, and the best overall camera currently on the market. It’s easily my Product of the Year.

Runner Up

iPad Pro

I’ve been waiting for the iPad to get a new full refresh for quite some time now. I’ve always been a fan of iPads, and I do so much of my content consumption on it. But this year, Apple dropped a stunning new device, and now I find myself using my iPad almost more than I use my laptop. So the new gorgeous design takes its cues from the old iPhone 5, with its flat aluminum edges. This allows it to be held much more easily now, rather than the slightly slippery slope design of yesteryear. Also, because the screen is pushed all the way to the edge, with slimmer bezels around it, I was able to opt for the larger 12.9″ device, which was only marginally bigger than my previous 10.5″. The new USB-C port allows me to only carry around one cable in my bag to charge my devices, as well as open the product up to more peripherals. The new Pencil feels like it was finally built alongside the iPad, rather than an after thought (also solving the terrible charging issue plagued by the last). But the best part of the new iPad is its performance. The A12X Bionic chip is simply put, not fair. It’s so fast, and iOS is so optimized for it, that it benches faster than some laptops. It’s literally insane I can edit 4K raw video, on a device so slim, on my couch, with a pencil, while switching through many other apps, without any hiccups whatsoever. And it renders out the video FASTER than my highend desktop. It’s pushing the boundaries of the tablet market, which is even crazier, since Apple completely dominates in that realm already.

Phone of the Year

iPhone XS

To me, this phone is exactly what I need, all wrapped in a perfect form factor. I’m a big fan of iOS, so if you’re not, then this won’t pertain to you. But for me, iOS meets all my needs, in an extremely snappy and fluid way. The phones new A12 chip is just so fucking fast. I just fly through my productivity apps, and so much of my work has been able to be offloaded to my phone, allowing for a completely mobile workflow without compromising performance. The camera is excellent (although it didn’t release that way), but the video it shoots is the best in the business. If you’re like me and take much more video on your phone rather than photos, this is the phone to get. Nothing comes close. The battery life is great and easily lasts me until bedtime. Apple just does an excellent job at optimization. But my favorite aspect of this phone is its size. Coming from an iPhone 8+, the XS Max (the phone my wife has) just didn’t appeal to me. I’ve since gone for smaller phones, and after using it this year, I’ll never go back to a big phone. I’m so happy with this phone, I have no idea when I’ll want to upgrade it.

Game of the Year

Red Dead Redemption 2

I’ve played almost all the top GOTY’s for 2018. Between them all, it was obviously between God of War and Read Dead. I ultimately came upon Red Dead to take the win. To me, it reminded me of western Breath of the Wild with a much, much higher budget, and outfitted with some of the best voice acting and writing that’s come out of Rockstar to date. It’s a slow burn of a open world game and I love it for that. There’s a certain serenity that comes from playing it, that I really only felt with BotW – which was my last years GOTY. While the story isn’t as impactful and the gameplay isn’t as fluid as God of War, to me, the experience was more memorable. What really separated this game from any other is how the realism in this game added to the experience. Much like real-life, there are some parts of the game that just aren’t fun. And it made me think about what exactly it means to be a game. And despite some of the gameplay shortcomings, I still constantly want to engulf myself into the game, even after beating it. Something I just can’t say the same about with God of War. If you’re fortunate enough though, you need to just get both. You’re really missing out if you don’t experience these masterpieces.

Fashion of the Year

Off-White Air Presto

Virgil Abloh owned 2018. Off-White has exploded this year, to the point where its brand seemed more recognizable than the legendary red box. To me, his best and most important release were the Air Presto’s which I was lucky enough to pick up over the summer. They are quintessential of his brand, with its industrial and utilitarian design infused into urban streetwear. They also seem to be one of the more valuable pieces clocking in currently at >$1300 on StockX. Some would argue the Air Force x MoMA Collab was more impactful, but I find the odd nature of the Presto’s to be more iconic and fitting.

Album of the Year

Pusha T – Daytona

It’s hard to deny how big this album was when it first dropped. Especially due to the genius marketing by Ye and it consecutively dropping alongside his project and Kids See Ghosts. While it’s a short 7 track line up, it’s enough to drive home how good Pusha is at the in-your-face brash rap we don’t see very often. That tightly curated list means each and every track is a winner, and there is absolutely zero filler. Something more albums need to take note of. My favorite track being the first. “If you know you know” is an excellent track that takes double entendres and crack lingo to a whole new level. This album always seemed to find a way into my ears whenever it was time to get in the zone.

Song of the Year

Wide Awake – Parquet Courts

This album was my runner up to Album of the Year. It’s a fabulous art house punk record that bangs with raucous yells. And to me, Wide Awake is the best on the album. It’s a fun punk song with a noodly riff that digs right into your head and it’s hard to listen to this song and not yell “IM WIDE AWAKE” every chorus. It’s not a deep song, it’s not hard to understand, it’s not very well produced, its timing is a bit off at times, it’s a bit rough around the edges, but all of that doesn’t matter because it’s just a dope song. You’re welcome.

Disappointment of the Year

Canon EOS R

This year, Canon and Nikon decided to enter the mirrorless market currently dominated by Sony. While Nikon released an excellent camera that actually rivals the a7III. Canon on the other-hand completely dropped the ball. As soon as the camera community heard the specs, you heard a sign of disappointment reverberate through the air. The biggest disappointment was Canon’s refusal to give consumers Full Frame 4K video capabilities. Instead, they gimped their 4K by throwing on a heavy 1.76x crop on the image, which doesn’t even meet Super 35 standards. They also dropped In-Body stabilization on the camera, dropped a joystick in favor of a “swipe bar”, and they dropped their EF-S mount putting a new RF mount on instead. Overall they dropped the ball. I’d be lying if I didn’t say that the entire photo/video community is waiting for Canon to release a true Sony competitor. We all want the features of the a7III with the color science of Canon, their awesome flip-out screens, and the incredible build quality they always bring to their cameras. Instead, we got more of Canon holding out their best features for their professional cameras.



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