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15 Affordable Gifts for Home Cooks | Lifestyle by Focus

Gift for home cooks | kitchen appliances

Valentine’s Day is a special occasion to show your love and appreciation for that special someone in your life. If your significant other enjoys cooking, Lifestyle by Focus has great cookware and kitchen appliances for the perfect gift. Whether they’re a seasoned home cook or just starting to grow their love for cooking, the right chef essentials can make their culinary experience more pleasant and fun. So put down those typical flowers and chocolates and check out our list of cookware and kitchen appliance options that are perfect gifts for home cooks.

 

1) Richardson Sheffield R Vision 5-Piece Knife Block Set

A kitchen is only as stylish as the utensils and appliances within it. So keep your kitchen looking sharper than ever with the elegant Richardson Sheffield R Vision 5-Piece knife block set.  This stainless steel set intertwines durability, handling comfort, and luxury for an optimal cutting experience.

 

2) Anolon 75853 3-Quart Sauté Pan with Lid and Helper Handle 

The Anolon Nouvelle Copper Stainless Steel Sauté pan is made to provide a seamless cooking experience and tasty meal whether you’re shallow frying, braising, or making stir-fry.

3) Riedel O Chardonnay/Viognier Wine Tumblers

For those who like to compliment a nice glass of wine with a well-cooked meal. Riedel O Chardonnay are aesthetically designed to bring out the maximum tasting potential in your finest wine collection, no matter how young or mature the wine is.  

4) ChefWave Sosaku Smokeless Infrared Rotisserie Indoor Tabletop Grill 

No matter the weather, now you’ll be able to enjoy that smoky grill flavor without stepping foot outside to use the grill. The ChefWave Sosaku Grill and Rotisserie is the ultimate 5-in-1 appliance; it includes a rotisserie spit with 2 forks, kebab set with 7 skewers, 2 round plates, fish basket, fry cage, grill rack, and a drip tray.

5) Zassenhaus Pepper Mill Potsdam Spice Grinder

This pepper grinder is made of high-performance German ceramics and offers 6 different adjustments from fine grind to rough.

6) Viking Professional 5-Ply 6.4-Quart Sauté Pan with Lid 

The Viking Professional 5-Ply 6.4-Quart Sauté Pan is another high-quality pan, perfect for browning with minimized splatters and evaporation thanks to its wide walls.

7) TableCraft Make Italian Night Delizioso Set

The TableCraft Make Italian Night Delizioso bundle is the ultimate pasta cooking set to take meals to new heights. Starting from the preparation to the table, this set includes a colander, tongs, garlic press, grater, pasta grabber, oil dispenser, and bowl so you can bring that professional Italian restaurant taste into your very own kitchen.

8) BK Cookware Black Steel 10-Inch Crepe Pan 

The BK Cookware Black Steel 10-Inch Crepe Pan is crafted from pre-seasoned carbon steel designed with fast heating properties for a quick and easy cooking experience.

Price: $39.95

9) Umbra Bar and Serving Cart 

The Umbra Bar serving cart is a modern, two-toned wooden bar cart and the perfect multi-purpose chef companion. Allowing you enough room to store bottles, bar accessories, décor, and more.

10) GreenPan Chatham 11-Inch Ceramic Nonstick Round Grill Pan 

The Chatham Nonstick Grill Pan is a durable, versatile pan with a nonstick coating. This pan is the way to go if you want the perfect grill marks on your food without the hassle of turning on the actual grill and cleaning it up.  

11) Swiss Diamond 6718C 2.2-Quart Sauce Pan with Lid 

The perfect gift for a home chef is one that makes cooking enjoyable and cleaning an effortless process. The Swiss Diamond 6718C 2.2-Quart Saucepan does exactly that and is great for gravy, marinara sauce, and more.

12) Cuisinart Chef’s Classic Non-Stick Hard Anodized Cookware Set 

In need of an entire revamping of your pots and pans? You can catch an excellent-priced bundle with everything an at-home chef needs to level up their cooking supplies. The Cuisinart Chef’s Classic cooking set is durable, heats up quickly, and has smooth nonstick material.

13) John Boos Block Walnut Wood Edge Grain Reversible Round Cutting Board

The Walnut Wood Edge Grain Reversible Round Cutting Board is beautifully designed and a great gift idea for a cook. It has an 18-inch diameter and can be used to cut everything from pizzas to vegetables and more.

14) Baltique Marrakesh Collection (7-Piece Cooking Utensils)  

This colorful Baltique Marrakesh seven-piece utensil kit is an excellent and vibrant gift for home cooks who want to work with visually pleasing kitchen appliances.

15) Peugeot Cast Iron Set 

The Peugeot Iron set is a cast iron material with an exceptional feel traditionally used to manufacture teapots. This handmade masterpiece gives a professional touch to every kitchen table.

Valentine’s Day Gifts, Date Ideas, & Special Offers | Set the Mood

Valentine’s Day is almost underway, and Focus Camera has what you need to set the mood for a flawless and memorable occasion. Whether you need new and refreshing ideas for a date or a remarkable gift to give, we’re here to inspire. Our Valentine’s Day promotion includes exclusive offers on the best brands to help you save. This year step away from the traditional and cliché dinner date and movies. Set the perfect mood with unconventional Valentine’s Day date ideas that’ll make the night unforgettable. Shop for hundreds of unique gifts and take advantage of some amazing offers.

Have a Cozy Movie Night In

Photo courtesy of Phillip Goldsberry

We have plenty of excellent gear for you to create a top-notch cinema experience at home. Bring the theater home with exceptional home entertainment systems like high-quality smart TVs and sound systems. If you and your significant other desire a cozy and intimate setting, an at-home movie might be the ideal date. 

You can get comfy on the couch and even decorate your home to create a fun and inviting atmosphere with dim lighting, candles, and snacks. Whether you watch a romantic comedy, classic film, or action movie, you’ll want to ensure you have the best audio and visual entertainment to provide a fantastic date night. Here are some recommended items to give you that professional motion picture entertainment feel right at home.  

Set the Mood: Movie Night 

Sony KD55X80K 55-Inch LED 4K UHD
Sony KD55X80K 55-Inch LED 4K UHD – SAVE $50

Sony BRAVIA XR X90K 4K HDR Full Array LED TV with Smart Google TV (55-Inch)
Sony BRAVIA XR X90K 4K HDR Full Array LED – SAVE $400

Epson (V11H978120) Power Lite 1288 LCD Projector
Epson (V11H978120) Power Lite 1288 LCD Projector

Platin Milan 5.1 Surround Plus Speaker System with WiSA SoundSend
Platin Milan 5.1 Surround Plus Speaker System with WiSA SoundSend – SAVE $200

Create Memorable Moments with Music

Photo courtesy of Sebastian Pandelache

If you and your Valentine love to get loose and have fun over music, why not make it Valentine’s Day date idea? There’s nothing quite like singing your heart out to your favorite songs with your favorite person. Instead of spending money on a concert or a night out at a karaoke bar, you can create a karaoke night at home with the help of good speakers and a karaoke app.  It’s a chance to bond over shared musical interests and create a lovely unique atmosphere with melodies and meaningful memories. Exploring your musical love and interest is a great way to mix things up. In addition, Focus has plenty of great gift ideas for musicians, music lovers, and anyone who desires to learn a new instrument.

Set the Mood: Music Lovers 

Sony HT-S400 2.1-Channel Soundbar with Powerful Wireless Subwoofer
Sony HT-S400 2.1-Channel Soundbar & Subwoofer – SAVE $100

Yamaha P45B 88-Key Digital Piano
Yamaha P45B 88-Key Digital Piano

 

Audio-Technica AT-LP60X Fully Automatic Belt-Drive Stereo Turntable
Audio-Technica AT-LP60X Fully Automatic Belt-Drive Stereo Turntable

Sony STR-DH790 4K 7.2-Channel Home Theater AV Receiver
Sony STR-DH790 4K 7.2-Channel Home Theater AV Receiver – SAVE $50

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Get Your Game On & Enjoy the Joysticks 

Photo courtesy of Venson Chou

If you and your date are both into gaming, why not level up your bonding experience with a night of exciting games? If you’re tired of the same old dinner and movie dating routine, go outside the box and into something more unconventional and uplifting. You can play co-op games to test and strengthen your communication skills or go on an exhilarating journey playing your favorite adventure game together.  A video game date night at home can create memorable moments and produce tons of smiles and laughs, plus bring out the “inner kid” in both of you. Whether you’re having a friendly competition or working together, set the mood for a wonderful night of gaming. 

Set the Mood: Game Night

Logitech G502 X Plus Wireless Gaming Mouse (Black) with Wireless Charging System and USB 3.0 Hub
Logitech G502 X Plus Wireless Gaming Mouse (Black) with Wireless Charging System and USB 3.0 Hub

Logitech G PRO Mechanical Switch Gaming Keyboard with Mouse, Headset and 3.0 Hub
Logitech G PRO Mechanical Switch Gaming Keyboard with Mouse, Headset and 3.0 Hub – SAVE $80

LinearFlux Hypersonic Game Bluetooth Gaming Earbuds
LinearFlux Hypersonic Game Bluetooth Gaming Earbuds – SAVE $30

Sony WH-1000XM5 Wireless Noise Canceling Over-Ear Headphones
Sony WH-1000XM5 Wireless Noise Canceling Over-Ear Headphones

 

Celebrate with an Outdoor Occasion

Photo courtesy of Charlotte Karlsen

If you and your date are outdoor enthusiasts, why not plan a dream date in the environment you love with someone you care about? Planning an activity outdoors is a beautiful Valentine’s Day date idea and a breath of fresh air from the traditional sequence of events. Being in nature positively impacts your mental and physical health, like reducing stress and boosting moods. Discover great gear to help set the mood for your date and create a joyful experience you can share with someone special. Whether you go for a hike through the woods, stargaze all night, or bond over birdwatching, the great outdoors offers endless opportunities for adventure and romance.

Set the Mood: Outdoor Romance 

Nikon Prostaff P7 8X30 Binoculars
Nikon Prostaff P7 8X30 Binoculars – SAVE $30

Unistellar eVscope 2 Digital Telescope
Unistellar eVscope 2 Digital Telescope

Unistellar eQuinox 2 Smart Telescope for Light Polluted Cities
Unistellar eQuinox 2 Smart Telescope for Light Polluted Cities

Garmin Venu Sq 2 Smartwatch
Garmin Venu Sq 2 Smartwatch

Capture the Moment  

Photo courtesy of Charles Deloye

No matter how memorable your night is, it’s always worth it to freeze those special memories in time with a classic film image. Precious moments like these are always fantastic to reflect on and share with those close to you. Film is an excellent way to bring smiles and joy to life; you can hang them on your fridge or create a collage. Shop instant cameras and smartphone printers that’ll help you hold on to these moments forever. 

Polaroid NOW + Instant Film Camera
Polaroid NOW + Instant Film Camera – SAVE $20

Fujifilm Instax Mini Heart Sketch Instant Film
Fujifilm Instax Mini Heart Sketch Instant Film

Fujifilm Instax Mini 40 Instant Camera with Fujifilm Instax Mini Contact Sheet Film
Fujifilm Instax Mini 40 Instant Camera with Fujifilm Instax Mini Contact Sheet Film

Fujifilm Instax Mini Link 2 Instant Smartphone Printe
Fujifilm Instax Mini Link 2 Instant Smartphone Printer Bundle

Valentine’s Day Home Décor & Appliances | Lifestyle by Focus

All it takes is a bit of effort and the right décor to transform your home into the ultimate Valentine’s Day date destination. Find everything you’ll need to set the mood for an exceptional date with our Lifestyle by Focus Valentine’s Day products. Or shop a wide variety of Valentine’s Day gifts with great offers and quality bundles on fantastic home appliances, kitchenware, or home décor. This post will cover our Lifestyle by Focus Valentine’s Day categories and the unique products you can find. 

 

Cook the Perfect Dinner   

Cooking at-home dinner date
Photo courtesy of Jimmy Dean 

Planning a date at a fancy dining spot is a classic Valentine’s Day move but can also be seen as mundane and overdone. You typically have to make reservations days/weeks in advance because almost everyone’s planning the same thing. Instead, try taking a more intimate approach by bringing the romance home with a special home-cooked meal. Lifestyle by Focus provides plenty of essential cookware and kitchen utensils to craft a meal that’ll rock your date’s taste buds and offer a pleasurable cooking experience. In addition, if you’re looking for a gift for someone who enjoys culinary arts, you can shop for all sorts of kitchen appliances to support their love for cooking.  

 

Set the Mood: At-Home Chef 

TableCraft Make Italian Night Delizioso Set
TableCraft Make Italian Night Delizioso Set

Richardson Sheffield R Vision 5-Piece Knife Block Set
Richardson Sheffield R Vision 5-Piece Knife Block Set

GreenPan Chatham 11-Inch Ceramic Nonstick Round Grill Pan
GreenPan Chatham 11-Inch Ceramic Nonstick Round Grill Pan

ChefWave Sosaku Smokeless Infrared Rotisserie Indoor Tabletop Grill
ChefWave Sosaku Smokeless Infrared Rotisserie Indoor Tabletop Grill

 

Create a Warm & Homey Ambiance  

Home decor Valentine's Day
Photo courtesy of Rebecca Peterson

Okay, so maybe cooking isn’t necessarily your style. Lifestyle by Focus can also help you design a romantic scenery at home with plenty of fashionable décors to impress your date. Create the ambiance of your choosing without going over budget, including candles, fancy drinking glasses, and even chocolate-tempering machines to help sweeten up the evening. See how you can decorate your home for a special night or what unique home décor gifts your date would appreciate.  

 

Set the Mood: The Romantic 

By-Lamp 3D Lovers Lamp with Handmade Wooden Base
By-Lamp 3D Lovers Lamp with Handmade Wooden Base

ChocoVision Revolation V 9 lbs Chocolate Tempering Machine
ChocoVision Revolation V 9 lbs Chocolate Tempering Machine

 

By-Lamp 3D Double Heart Lamp with Handmade Wooden Base
By-Lamp 3D Double Heart Lamp with Handmade Wooden Base

Jo Malone Peony & Blush Suede Scented Home Candle
Jo Malone Peony & Blush Suede Scented Home Candle

Turn Your Backyard into a Romantic Getaway

Backyard dating decor
Photo courtesy of Randy Fath

  

Want to enjoy a romantic getaway without the hassle of traffic and crowded places? Build a backyard setup that’ll wow your date and create an evening of intimacy and fun. Create a warm and passionate ambiance with an official backyard fire pit that doesn’t require hours or days of labor to make. Savor a lovely time of grilling and bonding with our exceptional grills, or set out a floral arrangement for a colorful touch-up. Explore Lifestyle by Focus and create the perfect backyard getaway or find a stunning gift for your Valentine.

Set the Mood: Backyard Getaway 

https://lifestyle.focuscamera.com/amaranth-10-inch-floral-care-impact-resistant-smarter-vase-blue.html
https://lifestyle.focuscamera.com/amaranth-10-inch-floral-care-impact-resistant-smarter-vase-blue.html

Blue Sky The Peak Smokeless Patio Fire Pit with Large Steel Banded Wood Storage Basket
Blue Sky The Peak Smokeless Patio Fire Pit with Large Steel Banded Wood Storage Basket

 

Rosle USA Kettle Grill No.1 F60 AIR (24-Inch, Black)
Rosle USA Kettle Grill No.1 F60 AIR (24-Inch, Black)

Cuisipro BBQ 4-Piece Set
Cuisipro BBQ 4-Piece Set

Top 10 TVs & Sound Systems for the Perfect Super Bowl Gameday

Super Bow TV for sale, Wireless Bluetooth Sound Systems

It’s almost game time, and Super Bowl LVII is just around the corner. If you’re hosting a Super Bowl party this year, it’s important to ensure you don’t “drop the ball” from good food to great entertainment – it should be flawless. Fortunately, today’s post has fantastic home entertainment systems, from the best smart TVs to sound systems and even projectors. Plus, most of them have special limited-time deals you can take advantage of today (save up to $600). Get ready to create an exciting and unforgettable Super Bowl party experience with our list of top 10 smart TVs and sound systems for a perfect watch party.

Related Post: The 5 Best Ideas for Super Bowl Food & Kitchenware to Help.

Smart TVs (55-inches & Under)

1) Sony BRAVIA XR X90K 4K HDR Full Array LED TV

TV for the Super Bowl - Sony BRAVIA XR X90K 4K HDR Full Array LED TV
Sony BRAVIA XR X90K 4K HDR Full Array LED TV

($300 off until 02/20/2023)

If you’re looking for an exceptional viewing experience on a 55-inch smart TV, the Sony BRAVIA XR X90K 4K HDR Full Array LED TV is an easy score.  Go the distance with Full-Array LED and the Cognitive Processor XR that provide unbelievable color and contrast. The Acoustic Multi-Audio technology and X-Balanced speakers ensure that the sound is just as impressive as the picture. Plus, it has a hands-free voice control feature with Google TV, so you won’t have to worry the next time your remote decides to grow legs and walk away.

2) Sony KD55X80K 55-Inch LED 4K UHD Smart with Dolby HDR

Super Bowl TV for sale - Sony KD55X80K 55-Inch LED 4K UHD Smart with Dolby Vision HDR 
Sony KD55X80K 55-Inch LED 4K UHD Smart with Dolby Vision HDR

($50 off until 02/20/2023)

The Sony KD55X80K 55-Inch LED 4K UHD Smart may not be the biggest TV for a Super Bowl party, but it provides exceptional performance. This Smart TV is powered by a 4K HDR processor X1, which uses advanced algorithms to cut noise and enhance details. On top of this, its TRILUMINOS PRO algorithm detects color from saturation, hue, and brightness, reproducing natural shades in every detail for a vividly cinematic experience. Game enthusiasts can use its Auto Genre Picture Mode to minimize input lag and make the action more responsive. When watching movies on PlayStation5 consoles, it switches back to Standard Mode to focus on picture processing for more visually dynamic scenes.

Smart TVs (Over 55-inches)

3) Sony KD85X85 85-Inch 4K Ultra HD X85K Series LED Smart TV

Super Bowl TV for sale - Sony KD85X85 85-Inch 4K Ultra HD X85K Series LED Smart Google TV
Sony KD85X85 85-Inch 4K Ultra HD X85K Series LED Smart Google TV

($600 off until 02/20/2023)

The Sony KD85X85 85-Inch 4K Ultra HD X85K Series LED Smart Google TV is a game-changer for movie lovers and sports enthusiasts. With its incredible 4K resolution, TRILUMINOS PRO, and 4K HDR Processor X1, the picture quality is out of this world and will make you feel like you’re right in the middle of the action.  

 

The high 120hz refresh rate and motion flow XR technology ensure that fast-moving scenes are smooth and sharp. It’s a prime TV for the Super Bowl or any watch party, capturing rich detail in every play during the big game. The Dolby Vision and Atmos bring that cinematic feel to your living room, and the voice remote feature and Bravia cam make it easy to find and control your favorite content. Don’t miss out on this massive offer on one of the best TVs out right now.

4) Sony KD85X85 85-Inch 4K Ultra HD X85K Series LED Smart Google TV with Soundbar Bundle

Super Bowl TV sale - Sony KD85X85 85-Inch 4K Ultra HD X85K Series LED Smart Google TV with Soundbar Bundle
Sony KD85X85 85-Inch 4K Ultra HD X85K Series LED Smart Google TV with Soundbar Bundle

($400 off until 02/20/2023)

This is a very special bundle that comes with everything you need to be set for your watch party: a Sony HT-S400 2.1-Channel Soundbar, wireless subwoofers, Full-Motion Articulating TV Wall Mount, and a Steren 6-Feet 4K HDMI High-Speed Cable with swivel head.

5) Samsung QB50R 50-Inch Edge-Lit HDR 4K UHD Commercial Smart LED Display

Samsung QB50R 50-Inch Edge-Lit HDR 4K UHD Commercial Smart LED Display
Samsung QB50R 50-Inch Edge-Lit HDR 4K UHD Commercial Smart LED Display

The Samsung QB50R 50-inch 4K commercial smart LED display is an excellent choice if you’re looking for a smaller TV to satisfy your Super Bowl party. It’s easy to install and Samsung’s SMART Signage Platform 6.0 and embedded MagicINFO Player S6 media player give allow you to easily playback without using an external box or PC. A bonus feature is that it is fully compatible with Cisco WebEx Room Kit products, giving you the opportunity to incorporate cameras, codecs, speakers, and microphones for video calls and more.

Speakers & Surround Sound for Home Entertainment

6) Platin Milan 5.1 Surround Plus Speaker System with WiSA SoundSend

Bluetooth Wireless Surround Sound - Platin Milan 5.1 Surround Plus Speaker System with WiSA SoundSend
Platin Milan 5.1 Surround Plus Speaker System with WiSA SoundSend

($200 off until 02/27/2023) 

The Platin Milan, 5.1 surround sound with WiSA SoundSend, is a home theater setup redefining how we view home entertainment. The Milan 5.1 Surround system features a sleek, modular design that is compact enough to be integrated into any room without compromising for space. We’re talking subwoofers so inconspicuous they can fit under most sofas. This wireless surround sound comes with a WiSA SoundSend that provides ultra-high-quality, uncompressed 24-bit 48 kHz sound transmission through Dolby Digital, Dolby Digital+, Dolby True HD, and Dolby Atmos. Essentially, you’ll be able to enjoy top-tier sound quality designed for movie theaters within your home.  

Wireless Bluetooth Sound System - Platin Milan 5.1 Surround Plus Speaker System with WiSA SoundSend

7) Platin Monaco 5.1.2 Speakers with WiSA SoundSend & Dolby Atmos 

Platin Monaco 5.1.2 Speakers with WiSA SoundSend and Dolby Atmos with Speaker Stand Pair
Platin Monaco 5.1.2 Speakers with WiSA SoundSend and Dolby Atmos with Speaker Stand Pair

($200 off until 04/03/2023) 

The Platin Monaco 5.1.2 speakers are similar to the Milan 5.1; however, its front satellite speakers have upfiring drivers for an even more robust listening experience. Essentially, these speakers can play  Dolby Atmos sound and Dolby Atmos Music height channels, giving off a 360 audio effect and a rich cinema-style presence to your home entertainment. It includes a pair of Perlesmith Adjustable Height Satellite and Small Bookshelf Speaker Stands that elevate speakers to ear height and isolate them from the wall to prevent reduced vibrations. In addition you’ll get a triangular base for added stability, a cable management routing hole, and hardware for L-shape, keyhole, and top plate speaker mounts to fit various speakers. You’re guest will enjoy fully immersive audio using WiSA SoundSend with perfect synchronization and wireless surround sound.

8) Sony HT-A7000 7.1.2 Dolby Atmos Soundbar Bundle

Sony HT-A7000 7.1.2 Dolby Atmos Soundbar with Sony SA-RS3S Wireless Speakers for HT-A7000 Bundle
Sony HT-A7000 7.1.2 Dolby Atmos Soundbar with Sony SA-RS3S Wireless Speakers for HT-A7000 Bundle

The HT-S100F 2.0 Channel Soundbar bundle will have you ready to go when game day arrives. No matter where your guests sit or stand, the Vertical Surround Engine and S-Force Pro Front Surround technology will project immersive sound from corner to corner. And if you need to adjust the sound according to the room environment, you can use its Sound Field Optimization to calibrate the speakers to your desired volume. This bundle includes an SA-RS3S wireless rear speaker and glass floor speaker stands.

Budget Speakers (Under $200)

9) Sony HT-S100F 2.0 Channel Soundbar with Integrated Tweeter

Sound bar for sale - Sony HT-S100F 2.0 Channel Soundbar with Integrated Tweeter
Sony HT-S100F 2.0 Channel Soundbar with Integrated Tweeter

($30 off until Ends 03/06/2023)

The Sony HT-S100F 2.0 Channel Soundbar is an excellent choice for a more budget-friendly sound system. Its powerful and compact soundbar features a Bass Reflex speaker for deeper audio and S-Force Pro front surround sound, delivering high-quality and room-filling sound from one slim device. Its built-in tweeter recreates a full range of sounds and can easily be mounted on a wall to fit your home entertainment aesthetic needs. For such a compact speaker, this sound bar can reach an output of 120W to help give off that booming sound that distinguishes it from your average soundbar. The HT-S100F offers versatile connectivity options; it can connect to your TV via HDMI ARC and Bluetooth, allowing you to stream music wirelessly from your devices or connect any device via USB.

10) Logitech Z623 400 Watt Home Speaker System with Subwoofer

Logitech Z623 400 Watt Home Speaker System with Subwoofer
Logitech Z623 400 Watt Home Speaker System with Subwoofer

The Logitech Z623 speaker system is a powerhouse that caters to music, movies, and games, no matter how large the space is. These speakers are designed to transform your living room entertainment into something you don’t just hear but feel. It has 400 watts of peak power and 200 watts of RMS power, and an impressive multiple-input feature that allows you to connect up to three devices simultaneously. It has all controls located on the right satellite speaker for a user-friendly, easy operation experience.  

The 5 Best Ideas for Super Bowl Food & the Kitchenware to Help | Lifestyle by Focus

The 5 Best Ideas for Super Bowl Food & Kitchenware

Is a Super Bowl party really a party without the four big “F”s: (American) football, friends, family, and everyone’s favorite – food? If this year is your time to host a Super Bowl party, you want to ensure you have enough seats, a good home entertainment setup, and, most importantly, delicious dishes to serve. This post contains five traditionally good ideas for Super Bowl food you can serve this year.

Also included are great recommended items to help you quickly prepare these foods, such as grilling kits, cookware, and kitchen utensils. From reliable grills to handcrafted bowls and even portable pizza ovens, this game plan is guaranteed to help you score in the cuisine department. Without further ado, here are five excellent and classic ideas for Super Bowl food for your watch party.

1) Make Mouthwatering Homemade Pizza

Homemade Pizza - food ideas for super bowl party - portable pizza oven
Photo courtesy of Kelvin T

Pizza, it’s a classic party favorite and a crowd-pleaser for most people, and you can always spice it up with a variety of toppings. However, this year, don’t be cheesy and order delivery like everyone else; put a spin on it and craft your very own unique selection of fresh pizza ingredients. If you want to make it a more memorable Super Bowl party, create something that your guest will continue to rave about, some good ole’ homemade pizza. It may take a little more effort, but it’ll be well worth it when your guests ask, “so, where’d you get this amazing-tasting pizza from?”

Recommended Items:

Pizzacraft PizzaQue Portable Pizza Oven

Pizzacraft PizzaQue Portable Pizza Oven - ideas for super bowl food

The PizzaQue portable pizza oven is a top-notch cooking machine that’ll help give your pizza the perfect texture and taste the professionals acquire. The PizzaQue takes 15 minutes to heat up and can cook a pizza in just 6 minutes. After you finish cooking each pie, you won’t need to reheat the oven again, allowing you to keep churning out those sweet slices of yumminess. Plus, even after the parties end, you’ll find it has many more uses, such as bringing it to tailgates, backyard parties, campsites, and more.

Pizzacraft Acacia Purpose Wood Pizza Peel and Charcuterie Board

Pizzacraft Acacia Purpose Wood Pizza Peel and Charcuterie Board

Pizzacraft Acacia Purpose Wood Pizza Peel is great for transferring pizzas safely to and from a hot stone.

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2) BBQ & Grill – a Fan Favorite

Super Bowl ideas for food - BBQ and Grilling
Photo courtesy of Markus Spiske

BBQ and grill are always a great tradition and well-accepted food ideas for Super Bowl parties. They get the ball rolling and the smiles going; they also offer flexible food options: meats, seafood, vegetables, and fruits to satisfy everyone’s palate at the party, whether vegetarian or a meat-lover. That smokey and char-grilled taste gives off great tailgate vibes and adds a delicious flavor to each bite.

If you want to save money and be cost-efficient, BBQ and grilled foods are the way to go. Buying meats and veggies in bulk and grilling them is a much cheaper option than ordering catered food and pre-made cuisines (especially for a large group of people).

Recommended Items:

Weber Q1200 Liquid Propane Grill 

BBQ and Grill ideas for Super Bowl - Weber Q 1200 Gas Grill - LP Gas (Black)
Weber Q 1200 Gas Grill – LP Gas (Black)

The Weber Q1200 Liquid Propane grill is another exceptional tool for making food fast and effective. It has an electronic ignition so you can grill quickly for a large number of people, and its aluminum body makes cleaning even more manageable. It comes with a built-in lid thermometer, and the bundle also includes a portable cart, adaptor hose, and grill cover.

 

Charcoal Companion CC5153 3-in-1 Burger Press 

Charcoal Companion CC5153 3-in-1 Burger Press
Charcoal Companion CC5153 3-in-1 Burger Press

A Charcoal companion indeed. With this 3-in-1 burgers press, you can craft juicy burgers and delightful bite-sized sliders. You’ll be able to determine the size of the meat; best of all, you can stuff the patties and surprise your guest with a delicious burst of flavor inside.

 

 

 

Kuechenprofi BBQ Grill / Serving Pan with Wooden Board 

Kuechenprofi BBQ Grill / Serving Pan with Wooden Board
Kuechenprofi BBQ Grill / Serving Pan with Wooden Board

If you want to step your game up for the watch party (or any occasion), the Kuechenprofi BBQ Grill is an excellent and fancy serving set. You can use the wooden board and pan to serve small dishes just like your favorite restaurants, straight from the grill to the dinner table while staying warm on the pan. You can also serve it right from the oven, leaving you with a nice food presentation.

McCormick Grill Mates Barbecue Tongs 

McCormick Grill Mates Barbecue Tools MC8005 Locking BBQ Tongs with Softgrip Handle
McCormick Grill Mates Barbecue Tools MC8005 Locking BBQ Tongs with Softgrip Handle

McCormick Grill Mates Barbecue Tools MC8005 Locking BBQ Tongs have a soft grip for smooth handling and a firm grasp to flip foods easily.

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3) Raise the Bar with a Cocktail Bar (or Mocktail)

What’s all the buzz about cocktail bars? Creating a drinking station can be an excellent way to throw in a more interactive component to the party. It allows guests to mingle while making their favorite drink and can work as a great icebreaker as well. There might even be a friend or two who really wants to show off those bartending skills and help accommodate guests by making them a courteous cocktail. Moreover, having a cocktail bar is another way to keep a low budget by purchasing multiple inexpensive drinks instead of a complete fancy bar set.

Recommended Items:

Island Bamboo Pakka Wood Muddler (Rainbow), Cutting Board, Toast Tongs, and Measuring Spoon Bundle

Island Bamboo Pakka Wood Muddler (Rainbow), Cutting Board, Toast Tongs, and Measuring Spoon Bundle
Island Bamboo Pakka Wood Muddler (Rainbow), Cutting Board, Toast Tongs, and Measuring Spoon Bundle

This colorful cocktail-making set comes packed with everything you need to create your ideal drinking station. The Rainbow Bar cutting board is made of durable food-safe birch wood, appeasing anyone who desires a bit of citrus aesthetic to their drink. Make a perfectly mashed-up mojito with the Pakka wood muddler, or get the proper measurements with the double measuring spoon.

 

 

Riedel O Cabernet Glasses & Riedel Ouverture Beer Glass

Riedel O Cabernet Glasses
Riedel O Cabernet Glasses

If you’re hosting a smaller, more intimate Super Bowl party with just a few guests, you can get fancy with some fine-looking Riedel glasses for beer and wine instead of plastic or paper cups.

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4) Craft a Classic Charcuterie Board

Ideas for Super Bowl Food - Charcuterie Board
Photo courtesy of Tye Doring

Charcuteries have become so popular within the last few years. Some people are even going as far as throwing charcuterie board parties, a trend where each participant brings their own uniquely designed board to display and later indulge in. These boards have always been a reliable and tasty cuisine for all styles of parties, from high-end formal events to casual watch parties like the Super Bowl.

A charcuterie board is low maintenance and doesn’t require an absorbent amount of time or work to put together. However, if you love setting up spectacular food presentations, you can always customize each board with extravagant patterns of meat and cheese and ornately stacked crackers. It’s another wallet saver, as you only need a board and a small selection of meats, cheeses, fruits, and crackers to put one together. Plus, it serves as a great appetizer or tiny bites that can be nibbled on throughout the evening.

Recommended Items:   

Pizzacraft Acacia Purpose Wood Pizza Peel and Charcuterie Board

Pizzacraft Acacia Purpose Wood Pizza Peel and Charcuterie Board
Pizzacraft Acacia Purpose Wood Pizza Peel and Charcuterie Board

The Pizzacraft Acacia Charcuterie Board is great for all occasions.

 

 

 

 

 

J.K. Adams Lazy Susan 12-Inch Round Slate Charcuterie Board 

J.K. Adams Lazy Susan 12-Inch Round Slate Charcuterie Board - The Lady's Guide to Eating Cheese
J.K. Adams Lazy Susan 12-Inch Round Slate Charcuterie Board – The Lady’s Guide to Eating Cheese

J.K. Adams Lazy Susan 12-Inch Round Slate Charcuterie Board is a unique way to build a cheese plate for a small group of people.

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5) Create a Salad Bar

Super Bowl Cuisine Options - Creating a salad bar or salad station
Photo courtesy of Taylor Kiser

Don’t forget your greens. Not everyone will be a huge fan of barbecued meat or pizza, so a salad station is a superb idea for “a dressing” this issue. Fruits, onions, cucumbers, nuts, carrots, and tomatoes are just a few options that you can use to provide an excellent variety to your salad bar. Like charcuterie boards, salads are effortless to put together. And if you can’t decide on what salad to create, you can simply put the lettuce, kale, or other greens in a bowl next to the dressings and toppings and let your guest make their dream salad. It’s inexpensive and compliments the other food nicely while adding a healthier option for your guest.

Recommended Items:

Berard Handcrafted Bowls (6-Pack) & Handcrafted Scoop

Berard Handcrafted Bowls (6-Pack) with 7-Inch Handcrafted Scoop (Olivewood)
Berard Handcrafted Bowls (6-Pack) with 7-Inch Handcrafted Scoop (Olivewood)

Berad Bowls are handcrafted in France from fine olive wood and add a lovely aesthetic to your salad. They range from 1-8/9 to 6-2/3 inches (in diameter), and with the bundle, you can get a set of six Berard Handcrafted bowls and a 7-inch scoop. They’re also great for popcorn and peanuts, and other small snacks you may want to provide.

 

 

Berard Provencal Salad Serving Set

Berard Provencal Salad Serving Set
Berard Provencal Salad Serving Set

The Berard Provencal, Salad Serving Set, consists of a spoon and a 3-pronged fork to blend the delicious flavors into a lip-smacking dish.

 

 

 

 

Lipper International Large Walnut Finish Wavy Rim Bowl with Salad Hands

Lipper International Large Walnut Finish Wavy Rim Bowl with Salad Hands Bundle with Bowls (Set of 4)
Lipper International Large Walnut Finish Wavy Rim Bowl with Salad Hands Bundle with Bowls

Lipper International has designed the Walnut Finish Small Wavy Rim Bowl to serve your salads in style.

 

 

 

 

What will make for this years Super Bowl? 

Fujifilm X-T4 vs X-T5 | Worth the Upgrade?

Fujifilm X-T4 vs X-T5 camera comparison - camera specs

Last year we saw the release of the new Fujifilm X-T5 mirrorless camera, only to be awed by its note-worthy photography and video capabilities. However, its predecessor, the X-T4, still remains a fan favorite for plenty of photographers and videographers. If you’re trying to decide which Fujifilm X series camera is right for you, you’ve come to the right place. Today we will compare Fujifilm’s X-T4 vs. X-T5 and see which camera is right for you.

What were our first impressions of the Fujifilm X-T5 mirrorless camera? Watch this video and find out. 

Table of Contents

Specs X-T4X-T5
Price$1,549.95$1,699.99
Price (with lens bundles)$2,049.95 (XF 16-80mm f/4 lens)$2,099.00 (XF18-55mm f/2.8-4 R LM OIS lens)
Weight 557g607g
Dimensions 134.6 x 92.8 x 63.8mm129.5 x 91 x 63.8mm
Pixels26MP40MP
SensorX-Trans CMOS 4BSI X-TRANS CMOS 5
Sensor size APS-CAPS-C
Processor X-Processor 4X-Processor 5
Maximum burst rate15fps (M) 21fps (E)15fps (M) 13fps (E)
Max IBIS6.5EV7EV
Max video rec4K/60p6.2K/30p (1.23x crop), 4K/60
Battery500 / 500580 / 590
Storage 2x SD/SDHC/SDXC UHS-II2x SD/SDHC/SDXV UHS-II

Build

Regarding the Fujifilm X-T4 and X-T5 build, both cameras share some similarities in design, but there are a few key differences to consider. Both cameras have a vintage, and classic SLR look, but the X-T5 (557g129.5mm x 91mm x 63.8mm) is a smidge smaller and about 50g lighter than the X-T4 (607g134.6mm x 92mm x 63.8mm). Regarding the handheld look and feel, the X-T5 is designed with a more pronounced finger-shaped groove and relaxed slope to the viewfinder hump, giving it a slighter ergonomic design than the X-T4. Other than this their physical features are virtually the same.

Both cameras have dedicated dials for shutter speed, ISO, and exposure compensation, and a pair of command dials that can be configured to match existing camera layouts. They both maintain a micro HDMI port for video output as well. 

X-T4 vs X-T5 | camera comparison

Viewfinder & LCD Screen

The X-T5 uses the same 0.5-inch 3.69 million dots OLED color viewfinder as the X-T4 but has the added benefit of higher magnification optics, giving it an impressive 0.8x magnification. As for the LCD monitors, the X-T4 comes with a 3.0-inch LCD screen maintaining a resolution of 1.62 million pixels. Whereas the X-T5 has been slightly improved with a higher resolution of 1.84 million pixels.

Both screens can be adjusted to allow for the camera to be held at unique angles for obscure angle shots. However, the X-T5 mimics the X-T3’s three-way tilt design, which unfortunately eliminates the ability to perform 180-degree screen rotations for self-filming and vlogging. This is unlike the X-T4’s more versatile vari-angle monitor, suggesting that the X-T5 is geared more towards photographers than videographers.

X-T4 vs X-T5 Fujifilm camera review

Battery (Vertical Battery Grip)

Both cameras use the same NP-W235 batteries. For the X-T5 this provides about 590 shots per charge using the viewfinder or 580 shots using the rear screen. As for the X-T4, this offers a slightly lower rating of around 500 shots per charge.

However, unlike the X-T4, Fujifilm has chosen to get rid of the vertical battery grip feature for the X-T5 by eliminating the contacts on the bottom of the camera. Nevertheless, if the camera body alone feels too small to hold comfortably, you can purchase the optional MHG-XT5 metal hand grip as an alternative.

Image Sensor & Processor

One of the biggest changes in the X-T5 is the new BSI X-Trans CMOS sensor. This sensor has been completely redesigned from previous models and, as a result, gives the X-T5 a higher resolution at a whopping 40.2MP compared to the X-T4’s 26.1MP. This puts the newer camera’s sensor on par with the X-H2. Additionally, the X-T5 is equipped with the X-Processor 5, which is twice as fast as the one found X-T4. The new sensor on the X-T5 allows it to take in more light and produce better image quality. This is thanks to the improved pixel structure of the X-Trans CMOS 5 HR sensor.

Fujifilm X-T4 vs X-T5 camera comparison

Image Stabilization

Regarding image stabilization, the Fujifilm X-T4 and X-T5 feature 5-axis In-Body Image Stabilization (IBIS) to help minimize camera shake. For stills, The X-T4 offers up to 6.5 stops of exposure compensation. On the contrary, the X-T5 has received a modest upgrade offering a maximum of 7 stops, putting it on par once again with the X-H2 and X-H2S for the best exposure compensation provided by any current Fujifilm cameras.

When it comes to image stabilization, the most significant difference between the two cameras is the Pixel Shift Multishot feature. Out of the two cameras, only the X–T5 contains this feature which allows the camera’s IBIS system to precisely shift the sensor, recording 20 separate frames with one press of the shutter release. The resulting files are combined using Pixel Shift Combiner software to quadruple the camera’s resolution and produce a detail-rich 160MP file.  

Fujifilm X-T4 mirrorless camera

AF Functions

Fujifilm has enhanced the X-T5’s autofocus system over its predecessor thanks to the integration of Deep Learning technology. The X-T4 and X-T5 use a hybrid autofocus system, which combines phase and contrast detection, but the X-T5 goes a step further by incorporating advanced algorithms. These algorithms help detect moving subjects such as cars, motorcycles, trains, birds, and airplanes. The X-T4 is only able to detect human faces and eyes. On top of this, the X-T5 has more phase detection autofocus points (3.3 million) compared to the X-T4 (2.16 million).

Continuous Shooting

Fujifilm’s X-T5 camera offers a maximum shooting speed of 20fps when using the electronic shutter, which also comes with a 1.29x crop applied. Interestingly, the X-T4 can shoot at 20fps with no crop when using the electronic shutter. But, if you increase the speed to 30fps, this will apply a 1.25x crop.

Both cameras feature the same 15fps continuous shooting speed when using the mechanical shutter. Pretty impressive considering the X-T5’s new image processor and increased resolution.

Fujifilm X-T5 tilt screen

Video

Regarding video improvements, there are a handful of upgrades that separate the capabilities between Fujifilm’s older and newer models. Yes, both cameras support DCI 4K/60p recording. However, X-T4 does so with a 1.17x crop factor. The X-T5 camera also boasts a high-quality recording rate of 6.2K/30p and can record 10-bit 4:2:2 internally, as opposed to the X-T4. Although, it is also essential to point out that X-T5 does have a 1.23x crop when recording in 6.2K/30p.

Both cameras can capture 1080/240p slow-motion footage and have HLG and F-Log. But in addition to this, the X-T5 also offers the new F-Log 2 profile with up to 14+ stops of dynamic range. Furthermore, you can connect the X-T5 with a compatible HDMI recording device from Atomos or Blackmagic Design to output 12-bit RAW video and record it as Apple ProRes RAW or Blackmagic RAW. Lastly, the X-T5 also has a digital zoom function that can deliver up to 2x zoom with minimal loss in resolution when recording video in 4K.

Verdict

Both the Fujifilm X-T4 and X-T5 are excellent cameras that share many similarities in design and functionality, but there are still key differences to consider. The X-T5 is slightly smaller and lighter, with a more ergonomic design (although some photographers prefer bulkier cameras). The X-T5 also features a higher resolution viewfinder and LCD screen and a new BSI X-Trans CMOS sensor with faster processing.

Despite both cameras providing impressive quality, speed, and stabilization. The X-T5 seems geared more toward photographers that desire those extra top-notch image quality and stabilization features. In contrast, the X-T4 can be considered slightly more versatile for vloggers and videographers with its vari-angle screen, not to mention its vertical battery grip capabilities. Ultimately, they’re both great cameras, and whether you choose Fujifilm’s X-T4 or X-T5 will depend on your specific content creation needs, including what you value most in a camera.

Which Fujifilm X series camera do you prefer? 

Sigma 60-600mm F4.5-6.3 DG DN OS Sports Lens | Review

Simga 60-600mm F4.5-6.3 DG DN OS | Sports review (video included)

Zoom into the new and masterfully designed Sigma 60-600mm F/4.5-6.3 DG DN Sports lens. This ultra-telephoto zoom lens is Sigma’s second Sports series lens for mirrorless cameras and the first 10x zoom lens for mirrorless cameras. Sporting some impressive enhancements from the previous DSLR version, this versatile lens has revolutionary image quality at all ranges, reliable stabilization, and is great for a variety of shooting practices.

This review will focus on the build and optical technology that make it great for a wide range of photography, from sport, event, and wildlife photography to even portrait, landscape, street photography, and more.

Don’t feel like reading. Check out this great video of our experts putting this lens to the test, capturing fantastic photos of New York and animals at the zoo (wildlife and street photography). 

Build 

Sigma’s 60mm-600mm DG DN Sports lens weighs around 5.5 pounds (2.5kg) and pushes the boundaries of innovation with its multi-material structure. This unique design combines materials such as magnesium, CFRP (Carbon-Fiber Reinforced Polymers), and TSC  (Thermally Stable Composite) optimized for durability.

The CFRP material enhances the overall strength of the lens while keeping the weight to a minimum. While the thermally stable composite allows the lens to maintain its high manufacturing quality standards even in extreme temperatures. The combination of these materials results in a lightweight and robust lens (significantly lighter than the previous model). 

Key Features:  

  • Lighter than previous model lens 5 pounds(2.5kg)
  • Dust and splash-resistant interior 
  • Durable and robust 

Optical Performance & Zoom Features 

This ultra-telephoto lens is an advanced optic for photographers seeking to capture fascinating and dynamic moments. One of its standout features is its stable, high-quality performance throughout the entire zoom range.

To achieve this, Sigma uses the latest optical design and various high-quality materials, including FLD and SLD glass elements, to minimize chromatic aberrations that often occur in the ultra-telephoto range. This improvement and attention to detail allow the lens to deliver exceptionally sharp image quality no matter what focal length you choose.

And when Sigma says this ultra-telephoto lens offers a wide range of versatility, they mean it. With a minimum focusing distance of 45cm at the wide end and a maximum magnification ratio of 1:2.4 at the 200mm focal length, there’s no denying its telephoto macro lens capabilities. Creatives can capture intricate details and textures up close and personal on their subjects.

Key Features: 

  • Stable, high-quality performance throughout the entire zoom range
  • Features SLD and FLD glass elements to minimize chromatic aberrations
  • Capable of capturing intricate details and textures up close
  • Versatile: 45cm minimum focus distance, telephoto macro capability at 1:2.4 magnification ratio
  • Can be used as a telephoto macro lens

Sigma 60-600mm F/4.5-6.3 DG DN OS Sports lens review
Photo courtesy of Sigma

AF Features 

This ultra-telephoto lens features an all-new linear motor HLA (High-response Linear Actuator) for unparalleled speed and precise AF performance. Moreover, the high-output linear motor and advanced electronic control allow for quiet operation. Ideal for capturing fast-paced sports moments and subjects in motion, from motor vehicles to birds in flight. 

In addition, it’ll be much easier for photographers to catch more advanced shots on quickly moving subjects with its high focus-following performance, designed for high-octane moments and “short window” capture opportunities. It provides an extra layer of comfort and improves capturing potential for unique scenarios like fast-paced sports events, wildlife photography, or split second photos. 

Key Features: 

  • Newly developed linear motor HLA (High-response Linear Actuator)
  • Fast, precise and quiet AF
  • High focus-following performance ensures that decisive moments are not missed

Image Stabilization & Zoom Performance 

The Sigma 60-600mm F4.5-6.3 DG DN OS Sports lens features a brand new advanced optical stabilization algorithm – OS2. This algorithm provides a high level of compensation, with up to seven stops of impressive image stabilization at the wide end and six stops at the telephoto end, allowing for powerful and dynamic images with a sense of motion. The versatile ultra-telephoto lens comes with two different OS modes. One is geared for general shooting practices, while the other is tailored for fast panning shots.

How does OS mode two work? Mode 2 utilizes an acceleration sensor and a specialized algorithm (Intelligent OS) to stabilize the image even when the camera is moved vertically or diagonally. Regardless of the lens’s orientation, this feature ensures the subject’s movement is captured while maintaining the panning effect in dynamic situations like sports photography.

Key Features:

  • OS2, advanced optical stabilizer algorithm
  • Image stabilization up to 7 stops – wide, six stops – zoomed
  • Two OS modes available: general shooting and fast panning shots
  • Captures fast-moving subjects effectively, regardless of lens orientation.

Sigma 60-600mm F4.5-6.3 DG DN OS | Sports

Verdict 

The Sigma 60-600mm F4.5-6.3 DG DN OS Sports lens is an excellent choice for photographers who capture dynamic and captivating moments. Its stable and high-quality performance throughout the entire zoom range and its lightweight and robust design make it a versatile option for a wide range of photography scenarios. 

Add in features like the all-new linear motor HLA, high-speed and precise AF, exceptional image stabilization, and two different OS modes, and you have a lens of a lifetime. If you are into sports photography and wildlife or are constantly shooting subjects in motion, we highly recommend this new Sigma lens.

Night Photography Ideas, Tips, & Photo Samples | Beginner’s Guide

Night photo shooting samples
ISO 150 - F/5.6 - Shutter Speed 4 sec

There’s no better time to improve your night photography than right now. It’s winter, and longer nights and shorter days give night photographers more opportunities to experiment with different techniques and ideas for their nighttime photo shoots. If you enjoy capturing images at night or want to expand your photo creativity or quality, this post will help be your guide in the dark.   

We’ll shine a light on excellent night photography ideas, tips, and equipment to take your after-dark images to the next level. As the sun sets on another day, it’s time to grab your camera and embrace the beauty of all the marvelous ideas you’ll have for your next night’s photo shoot.  

Night photography ideas, tips, and samples

Table of Contents

Night Photography Tips & Techniques

Long Exposures

Want to add some creative flair to your nighttime photo shoots? Try longer exposures. This simple technique involves using a slow shutter speed to intentionally lengthen the amount of time that the camera’s sensor is exposed to light. By using a long exposure time, not only does your camera capture more light (to brighten the images), but it can also capture the movement of light sources in beautifully intricate ways, creating motion-inspired light streaks or star trail effects. This is especially effective for photographing moving traffic or astrophotography. 

You can achieve ideal long exposure results by using a tripod and a camera with manual exposure settings and setting the shutter speed to a slow value, such as around 10 to 30 seconds. You can experiment with exposure times and see what different creative captures you construct. 

Night photo shooting - car traffic light trails
Photo courtesy of Jake Blucker

Key points:

  • Slowdown shutter speed for long exposure (around 10 seconds or hire)
  • Long exposures brightens photos by allowing shutters to take in more light.
  • You can create light trails using long exposure technique
  • A tripod and manual exposure settings will help image quality

Shooting In RAW

Shooting in RAW format can give you more flexibility when editing your nighttime photos, as it captures a greater range of tonal detail. When you shoot in JPEG, the camera processes the image and discards some of the data, resulting in a smaller file size. This can make it more difficult to recover lost detail when editing the photo, especially in low-light conditions. Overall, it gives photographers more control over the final look of their images, adding flexibility to editing. 

Key points:

  • RAW captures more detail
  • Can benefit you during post production photo editing

High Dynamic Range (HDR)

HDR is another good night photography technique involving taking multiple exposures of a scene at different exposures and combining them into a single image. This can be useful for capturing a wide range of tones in a setting with a high contrast between light and dark areas, such as a cityscape at night.  

To create an HDR image, you will need to take multiple exposures of the same scene at different exposures, either by using a camera that has an HDR mode or by taking the exposures manually. You can then use special software to combine the exposures into a single image, adjusting the exposure and other settings to achieve the desired result. 

Key points:

  • It helps to bracket your shots (essentially capturing same image over and over)
  • Can combine photos into a single image for better results

Below is a gallery of beautiful NYC night photography samples our team was able to capture, including camera setting like ISO, F-stop, and shutter speed. We used a Sony a7R IV camera with a Sony 70-200 2.8 GM lens for the close up cityscape, a 14mm GM lens for the wide bridge shots, and a Sony 35mm 1.4 GM for the pics of Little Italy restaurant signs.

Night Photography Ideas  

Light Painting

Another way you can expand your artistic canvas is by light painting. This creative technique involves using a flashlight or other light source to “paint” light onto a subject or scene during a long exposure shot.

This will require you (or a volunteer) to motion that flashlight or light sources creating sort of after image affect onto your subject or scene during a long exposure shot. This simple but well-renowned technique highlights specific features, creates abstract patterns, and vibrantly brings your photos to life. 

Key points:

  • Move a light source within a long exposure shot to drag out light streaks in your photo

Below is a short light painting reel our team worked on. It showcases all the wonderful creative potential you have when it comes to using this practice.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Focus Camera (@focuscamera)

Star Trails & Light Trails

As previously mentioned, star and light trails are created by taking a series of long exposures and combining them into a single image. This can create illuminating photos with a mix of streaks that show the night sky, traffic, and cityscapes in motion. You’ll need a camera with manual exposure settings, a tripod, and a slow shutter speed to create lavish light trails. 

Key points:

  • Similar to ‘light painting’ but instead using the stars or traffic as a light source

Capture the Beauty of the Night Sky

There’s something magical about the night sky. Whether you’re out in the countryside, away from city lights, or simply enjoying the view from your backyard, the stars and the Milky Way offer a stunning spectacle that can take your breath away.  

Using the tips this post covers, a wide-angle lens to capture a larger portion of the sky, and a long exposure, you create the opportunity to capture the movement of the stars as they travel across the sky.  

Key points:

Night photography photo sample - night sky
Photo courtesy of Juskteez

Document the City at Night

Nighttime cityscapes can be beautiful and atmospheric and can be captured using all these techniques to enhance the aesthetic of traffic lights, store signs, and skylines. Consider including iconic landmarks or other exciting features in your compositions. So next time you are out in the city after dark, don’t forget to bring your camera for some excellent night photo shooting opportunities. 

Key points:

  • Use the dynamic aesthetic of the city to spark more creative opportunities

Experiment With Abstract Compositions

Nighttime photography can be a great opportunity to experiment with abstract and creative compositions. Try using contrasting light sources and shadows to create unique and artistic images. Since the lighting is often low and there may be a lack of detail, you can play with shadows and silhouettes to play tricks on the human eye and create striking images.

One way to create an abstract composition is to focus on a specific aspect of a scene, such as a single light source or a distinguished pattern in the environment. Another technique you can try is to play with perspective. Shooting from a low angle or a high angle can change the way a scene looks and feels, and can help you create a more unique and interesting image.

Key points:

  • Focus in on specific aspects of your scene to add an intricate feel to your photo
  •  Experiment with shadows and silhouettes
  • Draw attention to obscure light sources and patterns

Night photography ideas, tips, and techniques. Night photo sample

Night Photography Settings & Equipment

Use a Tripod

As discussed, long exposure is a great photography technique to help manipulate lighting and create unique light trail effects with cars or stars. However, it is crucial that you keep your camera steady during these shots; otherwise, even the slightest movements can create obnoxiously blurry photos. 

One reliable way to prevent this is by using a tripod. They help keep the camera steady and to avoid movement during the long exposure shots, resulting in sharp and focused star trails. 

Tripod recommendations for night photography:

Experiment With White Balance

White balance refers to the process of adjusting the colors in a photograph to accurately represent the colors of the scene as they appear in real life. Different light sources, such as streetlights and headlights, can give off different colors of light. Experimenting with different white balance settings can help you capture a scene’s mood and atmosphere more accurately.  

On the other hand, if you want to enhance the mood of a scene and create a particular atmosphere, you can intentionally adjust the white balance to produce a warm or cool color cast. For example, if you want to create a cozy and intimate atmosphere, you might adjust the white balance to a warmer setting to add a yellow cast to the photo. 

White balance color temperature guide for star photography

Color Temperature Guide Courtesy of Exposure Guide

Use a Fast Lens

A fast lens with a wide maximum aperture can help capture more light in low-light conditions. This can help to reduce the need for long exposures and high ISO values, which can introduce unwanted noise into the image. For example, Sigma’s 35mm F/1.4 DG DN Art is an excellent lens for night photography because of its wide aperture and high optical quality. See which lenses best complement your style for night photo shooting. 

Lens recommendations for night photography:

Use a Cable Release or Self-Timer

Using a cable release or setting the camera’s self-timer mode can help to reduce camera shake during long exposures. A cable release is a device that allows you to take a photo without physically pressing the shutter button on your camera. By using a cable release, you can also minimize the amount of movement caused by pressing the shutter button. 

Remote shutter recommendations: 

Night photography ideas, tips, and samples - night sky
Photo courtesy of Joshua Woroniecki

Check Your Focus

It is essential to pay attention to focus when taking photos, especially at night when the light is low. The autofocus (AF) system in your camera uses contrast to determine which parts of the scene are in focus, and in low-light conditions, there may be less contrast for the AF system to work with. This can make it harder for the camera to focus accurately, resulting in blurry or out-of-focus photos. 

To ensure that your photos are in focus, it is a good idea to check the focus before taking each shot. You can do this by using the viewfinder or the LCD screen on the back of the camera to check the focus point. 

Shoot In Manual Mode

Shooting in manual mode can give you more control over the exposure and focus of your photos. This can be especially useful when shooting in low light conditions, as the camera’s automatic exposure settings may not always produce the best results. You can set the aperture, shutter speed, and ISO manually when shooting in manual mode rather than letting the camera choose these settings for you. 

In dark scenes, the camera may struggle to choose the correct exposure settings, resulting in too dark or too bright images. By shooting in manual mode, you can take control of the exposure and choose settings that will produce the best results for your particular scene. 

Panasonic LUMIX S5II vs. Sony a7 III | Camera Comparison

LUMIX S5II vs Sony a7 III

The rumors reign true; Panasonic releases the new and improved LUMIX S5II & S5IIX for pre-order (kit includes LUMIX S 20-60mm F 3.5-5.6 lens). It’s a new year full of gratifying and groundbreaking gear waiting to be announced. Fortunately, the camera world is off to a good start with the versatile Panasonic LUMIX S5 II, optimized for excellent stills and videos.

For this post, we’ll compare the Panasonic LUMIX S5 II vs. Sony a7 III, two closely competing cameras. Both models are worth considering if you’re in the market for a mirrorless camera that can deliver top-notch quality and performance. We’ll dive into the key features of each camera to help you determine which one might be the best fit for you and your unique photography and videography needs.

LUMIX S5II vs. Sony a7 III breakdown of performance and specs
LUMIX S5II vs. Sony a7 III

Key Features & Upgrades from LUMIX S5I:

  • New 24.2MP CMOS sensor with PDAF
  • New L2 technology image engine
  • New Phase Hybrid AF
  • New Active I.S. technology
  • Enhanced Dual-Native ISO
  • Up to 30 fps electronic burst shooting
  • Real-time LUT application
  • High frame rate, 10-bit 4:2:2 C4K/4K video
  • 6K30 open-gate video
  • 14+ stop V-Log/V-Gamut dynamic range
  • Upgrade option for RAW video recording output
  • Enhanced 4-channel audio
  • Dual UHS-II card slots

LUMIX S5IIX Added Features:

  • RAW video recording output upgrade
  • USB over SSD recording
  • ALL-I & ProRes recording
  • Wireless/Wired IP streaming

LUMIX S5II review
Photo courtesy of Panasonic

Camera Build

The LUMIX S5II boasts a 24.2MP 35mm full-frame CMOS sensor designed to offer high resolution, natural description, and about 2x higher-speed signal processing for high bit-rate video recording. This makes it perfect for capturing stunning, detail-rich images and videos, whether you’re shooting landscapes, portraits, or anything in between. 

As for the Sony a7 III, it sports a 24.2MP back-illuminated 35mm full-frame Exmor R CMOS image sensor paired with a front-end LSI that effectively doubles the readout speed of the image sensor. This sensor also has a BIONZ X processing engine that boosts processing speed by approximately 1.8 times compared to the a7 II. This results in high sensitivity with low-noise performance and a wide 15-stop dynamic range, making it ideal for capturing crisp, clear images in various lighting conditions.

Viewfinder 

The LUMIX S5II has a 2.36-million dot OLED electronic viewfinder or a 3-inch 922K-dot tilt touch LCD screen, which makes it easy to compose and review your shots. The a7 III has an approximately 2359K-dot XGA OLED Tru-Finder with ZEISS T* coating, which provides high resolution and contrast, as well as excellent gradation and color reproduction. This makes it easy to see what you’re shooting in bright daylight or dimly lit environments.

Sony a7 III review and comparison
Photo courtesy of Krists Luhaers

Photography & Burst Features  

Regarding continuous shooting, both the LUMIX S5II and the Sony a7 III are fast and reliable. The LUMIX S5II is capable of full-res shooting at up to 9 fps with the mechanical shutter and up to 30 fps with the electronic shutter. Allowing photographers to capture every fleeting moment of a fast-paced sporting event or street scene in crystal-clear detail.

The Sony a7 III can capture 24.2MP images at up to 10 fps with continuous and accurate AF/AE tracking for up to 177 Standard JPEG images, 89 compressed RAW images, or 40 uncompressed RAW images. This also makes it great for capturing action-packed moments, whether you’re shooting a concert, a wedding, or just a day at the beach.

Video 

When looking at video capabilities, both the LUMIX S5II and the a7 III offer some awe-inspiring features worthy of noting.

The LUMIX S5II has a heat dispersion mechanism that allows unlimited video recording, which is perfect for capturing extended events or time-lapses. It also has a new Active I.S. system that doubles down on supporting moving shots, making smooth, stable footage easier on every step.

Additionally, the LUMIX S5II has 14+ stop V-Log/V-Gamut capture for a high dynamic range and broad colors and a REAL TIME LUT function for in-camera photo and video color grading. This makes it ideal for creating professional-quality videos with rich, vibrant colors and stunning detail.

LUMIX S5II vs Sony a7 III LUMIX S5II review
Photo courtesy of Panasonic

On the other hand, the a7 III has high-resolution full-frame 4K movies with full-pixel readout without pixel binning, which means you can capture ultra-sharp footage with minimal moiré and jagged lines. It also has advanced image processing that enables it to record full-frame 4K movies with excellent image quality in the mid-to-high ISO range, optimal for low-light video work. And with its 5-axis in-body SteadyShot image stabilization system, you can get smooth, stable handheld footage while moving around.

Autofocus Capabilities

The LUMIX S5II has improved its AF by implementing a Phase Hybrid AF system, a feature that Panasonic hasn’t previously used, but we’re excited to see. This system utilizes phase detection AF, which generates two views of the scene from slightly different perspectives and compares them to establish an understanding of distance and depth. This makes the LUMIX S5II great for capturing fast-moving action with precise autofocus, staying locked on subjects for an unwavering AF experience.

The a7 III also has a top-notch AF system with 693 focal-plane phase-detection AF points that cover approximately 93% of the image area and 425 contrast AF points. This hybrid AF system (4D FOCUS) provides fast, reliable AF that locks on and stays locked on. 

LUMIX S5II vs Sony a7 III

Verdict 

So which camera is the best fit for you? The LUMIX S5II and the a7 III are both excellent choices for photographers and videographers who want strong performance in both stills and video. The LUMIX S5II is ideal for capturing high-resolution images and videos with natural descriptions and stunning colors, and its unlimited video recording and Active I.S. system make it a great choice for videographers.

The a7 III is a top pick for photographers and videographers who need a camera that can handle fast-moving subjects and low-light situations. Its high-resolution 4K video and advanced image processing make it an excellent choice for professional-quality video work. In addition, regarding budget, both cameras rank evenly (around $1,999).

Ultimately, choosing between these two cameras comes down to your specific needs and preferences. Do you need a camera that can easily capture fast-moving action (sports, wildlife, street photography)? If so, the a7 III might be the way to go. Or are you looking for a camera that can capture stunning, detail-rich images and videos with vibrant colors (filmmaking, portrait, landscape photography)? Then LUMIX S5II might be the better camera companion.

Treat Yourself With Great Priced Gear | Photography, Audio, Computers, & Electronics

Clearance sale, end of the year deals on photo/video gear, audio gear, electronics, and computers

You’ve worked hard all year, so why not treat yourself to something special? We’re having an end-of-the-year sale; indulge in incredible savings on a wide variety of gear: photography, video, audio, electronics, computers, and more. We’re talking gear up to 60% off from now into the beginning of the new year (most deals end 01/16/2023, view products to be sure). This list contains some popular products to help you start the new year right with amazing discounts.

Focus Camera's clearance sale for end of the year (photo/video gear, audio gear, computers, and electronics)

Audio Gear (Speakers, Headphones, Turntables)

Triangle Borea BR09 Hi-Fi Floor Standing Single Speaker

Triangle Borea BR09 Hi-Fi Floor Standing Single Speaker 

Clearance price: $399.95 (55% OFF)

Looking for a speaker that’ll bring the party to life? The Triangle Borea BR09 Hi-Fi Floor Standing Single speaker has a 3-way design and a frequency range of 35 Hz to 22 kHz, so you can be sure it’ll deliver crystal clear sound across the entire spectrum. Its sizeable bass-reflex enclosure allows it to be heard and felt throughout large rooms, creating an immersive listening experience. Whether you’re an audiophile or love to jam, the Triangle Borea BR09 has you covered.

Triangle Active Series Turntable with Ortofon Cartridge

Triangle Active Series Turntable with Ortofon Cartridge 

Clearance price: $199.95 (65% OFF)

If you appreciate vintage gear and want a high-quality turntable, the Triangle Active Series Turntable with Ortofon Cartridge is worth checking out. This belt-driven beauty boasts an Ortofon cartridge mounted on a tonearm that will track your records with precision and minimal wear. Plus, with a built-in phono stage and plenty of connectivity options, it’s easy to hook up to your favorite audio system. This turntable is sure to impress with its excellent sound quality and performance.

Beats Studio Buds True Wireless Noise Cancelling Earbuds

Beats Studio Buds True Wireless Noise Cancelling Earbuds 

Clearance price: $99.99 (30% OFF)

Beats Studio Buds are exceptional, high-quality, wireless earbuds with excellent noise-canceling capabilities. They have a sleek, compact design perfect for on-the-go listening, and their advanced Bluetooth technology ensures a stable, reliable connection. If you’re like me and struggle to keep earbuds in your ear, they have a comfortable, secure fit that’s perfect for long listening sessions and working out, and their noise canceling feature is excellent for blocking out unwanted background noise when you want to immerse yourself in the music. 

Philips S7807 Wireless Bluetooth Speaker

Philips S7807 Wireless Bluetooth Speaker 

Clearance price: $99.99 (50% OFF)

If you enjoy blasting tunes on the go, the Philips S7807  is a great portable Bluetooth speaker. Its compact size makes it perfect for taking it wherever you go, whether you’re heading to the beach, the park, or just hanging out at home. This speaker has a rich sound and complete audio that brings music to life. Its water-resistant’s makes it great for outside activities, rain or shine. It has a long battery life and fast charging capabilities for long-lasting reliability. 

Photography & Video Gear (Film, Filters, Lenses, Lights)

Sigma 35mm f/1.4 DG HSM ART Lens 

Sigma 35mm f/1.4 DG HSM ART Lens  

Clearance price: $659.00 (25% OFF)  for Nikon F Mount 

Clearance price: $749.00 (15% OFF) Canon EF Mount 

Clearance price:  $749.00 (15% OFF) Sigma SA-Mount 

The Sigma 35mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art Lens is an excellent choice for photographers who want a lens that can handle low light conditions and produce high-contrast, sharp images with subtle gradations in tone and color. It’s designed for full-frame cameras but is also compatible with APS-C sensors, making it a versatile option for various shooting situations.

The lens features a Hyper Sonic Motor (HSM) for fast, accurate autofocusing, as well as a floating focusing system that allows for superior performance when shooting subjects up close. The lens is equipped with SLD and FLD glass elements that help correct axial and chromatic aberration, resulting in a beautiful bokeh effect.  This is great for portrait, street, and landscape photography.

Pentax DA 16-85mm f/3.5-5.6 ED DC WR Lens

Pentax DA 16-85mm f3.5-5.6 ED DC WR Camera Lens 

Clearance price: $531.00 (%15 OFF)

The Pentax DA 16-85mm camera lens is a versatile and high-quality lens that is perfect for a wide range of shooting situations. It has a wide focal range of 16-85mm and a zoom ratio of approximately 5.3 times, allowing you to capture a variety of subjects and perspectives. The lens is also equipped with the PENTAX-exclusive HD coating, which improves image clarity and reduces reflections. 

This lens features weather-resistant construction with eight special seals to prevent water from entering the interior, making it a durable and reliable choice for outdoor photography. Whether you’re a professional photographer or a hobbyist, the Pentax DA 16-85mm f3.5-5.6 ED DC WR is an excellent choice for anyone looking to expand their lens collection. It has 16 optical elements in 12 groups and features one ED element and three high-grade aspherical elements to minimize spherical and chromatic aberrations and improve color rendition.

Tiffen 28mm Circular Polarizer Filter

Tiffen 28mm Circular Polarizer Filter, clearance sale lens filter

Clearance price:  $15.99 (35% OFF) 

The Tiffen 28mm Circular Polarizer filter is an excellent choice for outdoor photographers looking to enhance their images. It helps to correct the whitish glares that can wash out color in your photos and also removes glare from non-metallic surfaces like windows and water. Whether you’re looking to produce deep, blue skies or minimize reflections, this Tiffen filter is a great choice.

Westcott Rapid Box 26″ Octa Speedlite Kit

Westcott Rapid Box 26 Octa Speedlite Kit, clearance sale, deals on light kits

Clearance price:  $169.00 (15% OFF) 

The Westcott Rapid Box 26″ Octa Speedlite kit includes everything you need for on-location photography, including the Rapid Box 26″ Octa softbox, a diffusion panel, and a light stand. It’s designed to be quick and easy to set up and accommodates all photographers, from professionals to hobbyists. The softbox is made from durable materials and features a removable front diffusion panel for versatility.

Computers & Electronics

HP Envy 17-CH 17.3-inch laptop

https://www.focuscamera.com/computers-office/hp-envy-17-intel-i7-1195g7-12gb-512gb-ssd-17-3-touch-fhd-ips-display-windows-11-laptop.html - end of the year deals, cheap laptops and electronics

Clearance price: $699.99 (25% OFF)

If you need a reliable and powerful computer, there’s never been a better time to get the HP 17-CH 17.3-inch laptop. With its large 17.3-inch display, you’ll have plenty of screen for multitasking and streaming media. The laptop’s powerful processor and ample storage make it ideal for running demanding software and storing all your essential files. On top of all that, the HP 17-CH has a sleek design that’s sure to impress. 

HP 15-DY009 Intel Core 15.6-Inch HD Touchscreen Laptop

HP 15-DY009 Intel Core 15.6-Inch HD Touchscreen Laptop for sale end of the year deals

Clearance price: $399.99 (25% OFF)

The HP 15-DY009 15.6-inch HD Touchscreen laptop is a stylish and well-performing device that is well-suited for various tasks. With its 12 GB of DDR4-3200 MHz DRAM and high-definition touchscreen display, this laptop delivers fast and smooth performance whether you’re working, streaming, or playing games. Its sleek, modern design makes it a visually appealing choice for anyone who values style and sophistication in their tech. 

Sony SL-M1 2TB USB 3.1 Gen 2 External SSD

Sony SL-M1 2TB USB 3.1 Gen 2 External SSD cheap external drive SSD  

Clearance price: $169.99 (65% OFF)

The Sony SL-M1 USB 3.1 Gen 2 External SSD is a waterproof, dustproof, and shockproof (IP67 rating) storage solution that offers lightning-fast data transfer speeds and incredible durability. With its NVMe technology and SuperSpeed USB 3.2 Gen 2 interface, you can expect read and write speeds of up to 1,000 MB/s, making it perfect for storing and accessing large files quickly. Its 2TB of storage capacity is more than enough capacity for high-resolution photos, 4K videos, and other data-rich multimedia content. 

LaCie Rugged SSD 2TB Professional USB 3.1 Type-C SSD

LaCie Rugged SSD 2TB Professional USB 3.1 Type-C SSD

Clearance price: $450.00 (%10 OFF)

The LaCie Rugged SSD 2TB SSD is a great choice for anyone needing a high-performance, rugged storage solution. It’s perfect for filmmakers and DITs looking for fast file transfers and 4K uncompressed video playback, with speeds of up to 950 MB/s. The drive is built to withstand all terrains, with extreme IP67-rated dust and water resistance and three-meter drop resistance. It’s also compact and lightweight, making it easy to transport.