Fun – 2017 Christmas Wish List

Welcome to my Christmas Wish List for 2017!

It’s my silly annual which I consider more of a wish list-top gear review. Certainly goals and some things are much more important than others. For now, I’m doing alright with what I have. Seems like most people simply want to get the best and most expensive gear because their own workflow and knowledge are so inadequate. Sometimes tech matters. Most of the time, it doesn’t as much.

This year, things are going to be a little different with this article…  You’ll have to read to the end to find out..  Don’t worry, I’ll make the journey as fun as possible!

AN AWESOME STORAGE SYSTEM

QNAP TV1282 12-Bay NAS Enclosure

Forget desktops, monitors.  Cameras…  Give me a great storage solution!

I’ve been back and forth, up and down..  A NAS is a tough thing to determine. Mostly because of your goals and options. I wrote a lengthy article about storage solutions earlier in the gear in my yearly “Tech and the Photographer” and focused a lot on NAS.

QNAP TVS-1282. Photo: QNAP

QNAP TVS-1282. Photo: QNAP

So why this particular NAS?

People are big on Synology. While I think they are fine systems, I’ve had serious issues with their Technical Support team working as an I.T. professional. While I haven’t dealt with QNAP’s Technical Support, I haven’t heard the amount of issues about them as I have with Synology’s. If you don’t think technical support isn’t important, remember that next time you have a problem. I consider the Technical Support team to be a great metric in determining how a company values customer satisfaction. It’s sort of sad. I used them for years and their support used to be great. Their user-interface to manage the NAS is fantastic too.

Why the QNAP TV1282? The most important thing is its long-term value and flexibility:

  • 12-Bays. One of the biggest requirements is implementing RAID 6 on a NAS. This way, I could have 2 drive failures and still be operational. Or at the minimum, have plenty of time to replace one drive failure.
  • I am planning on 10TB Western Digital Red drives. With 8 bays and even using RAID 6, I can have 60TB of useable space. It might seem like a lot. But with a simple 2-hour shoot event shoot, it’s pretty easy to shoot 30GB worth of images. Throw some video in there and things get full pretty fast. It may be overkill now. But not in a couple of years. I’d want this to last 5 – 7 years.
  • Any software that runs on a PC, you can install on this NAS! I definitely want to have a virtual Windows 10 machine to run media apps but also, possibly, install Windows Server for user and resource management. Synology is working on virtualization for their systems but QNAP has been doing this for years.
  • This thing comes with just about any feature that any other NAS comes with! One of the most wanted of them is cloud backup to different types of services.
  • Performance. Not hugely important as this system would be largely used for archival purposes mostly and media serving. There are systems out there with a Thunderbolt 3 connection would just be amazing. But unless I or an employee is doing video regularly, the cost isn’t justifiable.

Or

QNAP TS453A

QNAP TVS-453A. Photo: QNAP

QNAP TVS-453A. Photo: QNAP

A much less expensive system by a good deal: QNAP TVS-453A. Not nearly as fast and expandable. But planned right, I could use this system quite easily for 3 years. A 30TB would take a while to fill and for archive purposes, would be sufficient in performance. I could still run a virtual machine and do cloud-based backups. If I could make this useful for 3 good years, I’d be okay with that. Four years and I’d be happy. Santa, I’d definitely take this system if you want to spend the extra cash on some kiddos who were extra good this year.

THE CAMERA

Panasonic G9

My Panasonic GX8 is great. But it’s not a pro camera for one simple reason: only 1 memory card slot. At the end of the day, that’s main reason. That’s why people didn’t consider the Sony A7RII a professional camera. Until a 2nd card slot was installed in version 3 of the camera. While I’ve never had a card fail on me, it just takes once.

Panasonic G9. Photo: Panasonic

Panasonic G9. Photo: Panasonic

I swear, I think Panasonic were reading my postings on forums talking about the need for a pro-level camera. The GH5 is a fantastic camera. But it’s really a video camera that does stills. But it would suffice. It has all the features I wanted but at a cost. Literally.

So when the Panasonic G9 was released, it’s pretty much perfect for my needs. It has all the features I need at a slightly lesser cost. A totally fair cost. Panasonic was listening to pros when they made that camera. When it gets to the store in a few weeks, I’ll have to have it in my hands and play with it to make that decision. But so far, I like what I’ve seen.

STYLE

ThinkTank Airport International v3

ThinkTank Airport International v3. Photo: ThinkTank Photo

ThinkTank Airport International v3. Photo: ThinkTank Photo

I’ve been wanting this bag for years! Well, at least v2. I think ThinkTank finally got it right by making the laptop slot INSIDE the bag instead of outside like they had in v2. It’s not a cheap bag. But I also know many who have had their ThinkTank bags for years! I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again: quality is cheaper in the long-run.

THE PRETTY ONE

Apple iMac Pro

iMac Pro. Photo: MacRumors

iMac Pro. Photo: MacRumors

It’s last on my list because this thing is so damn incredible! I watched real world performance testing of this machine and it just blows any other Mac out of the water! It’s totally overkill for me right now. Yes, it’s a bummer having to wait for Lightroom to render 1:1 preview images. But it’s not a huge issue yet. For the model I want, the 10-core version with upgraded everything, the $10k price tag, it has to be a necessity. My MacBook Pro can squeeze out plenty of performance for at least another year or more.

While there’s lots of gear I have on my list, these are the biggies that would certainly put a spring in my step! Especially the first three. I don’t mind waiting. It just heightens the enjoyment!

Last but not least….

A FANTASTIC GIFT

Great Clientele

Working as a professional photographer in New York…  If you want to be successful and the best, this is the place to do it! It’s all up to you how badly you want it. Competition is fierce. But that’s a hugely motivating factor for me. I love competition!

I’ve been incredibly happy and blessed with the clientele I’ve been attracting! New Yorkers have such a horrible reputation when it comes to kindness and generosity. But I’ve experienced quite the opposite. Mind you, it does exist. Though I think it’s largely in the .5 percent of the population. That number grows exponentially if you’re a jerk. New Yorkers simply don’t deal with them…

But my clients have been extremely kind and generous and simply want to keep building on that. Sure I want bigger and better..  But not at the cost of headaches. I decided very long ago that life is too short to deal with people who are headaches. Demanding is one thing, which I love. Headaches are a different breed. There is plenty of work with great people if you expect it!

THE BEST GIFT. NO MONEY INVOLVED

I love New York, the people and the photography work. While there are some big challenges in 2018, I also see great rewards and joy. I wish you just as much!

About the author

Ricardo Gomez is a Fashion Photographer based in New York City.

  • Technology: Tech and the Photographer-Storage
  • Photo Gear: The Switch to Mirrorless
  • Fashion Show: New York Fashion Week and Accessories

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