March 29, 2023
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My title is Dustin Abbott, and I run a profitable YouTube channel that focuses on images and images gear-related tech opinions. Paradoxically, I initially had little interest in working a YouTube channel as I used to be doing text-based gear opinions on my web site (dustinabbott.web).

In some unspecified time in the future, I noticed that I wanted for example just a few factors visually, and on the time, there wasn’t actually an excellent mechanism for internet hosting movies immediately on my web site. So I began a YouTube channel in January of 2014 strictly for the aim of internet hosting a four-minute video clip demonstrating the main focus pace of a Tamron lens.

About two months later, I had an epiphany: I used to be already doing all of this work to create my textual content opinions, so why not leverage that information into video opinions as effectively?

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I did my first video overview of the Canon EF 35mm f/2 IS on the finish of March 2014 and didn’t put up one other video overview till August of that yr. That’s when issues began transferring ahead, and I started to launch a overview with a tutorial video about as soon as per week.

Within the early phases, in fact, views got here slowly. My first huge YouTube “payday” was ninety-three cents. That’s the robust stage, in fact, when you find yourself doing simply as a lot work however getting little or no recognition or remuneration for that work.

I may hardly get anybody to have a look at that first video overview with lower than 100 views within the first week, however over time it has had over 115K views.

That’s a determine I might by no means have dreamed of in these early phases of frustration. You must play the lengthy recreation when attempting to construct one thing new.

I’ve been working by that complete course of once more in attempting to construct a brand new collaborative channel with my nephew (Let the Mild In TV). Even with my in depth community immediately, constructing one thing new takes plenty of work and endurance.

So in case you are contemplating launching a channel simply keep it up!

As a gear reviewer, I’ve considerably totally different priorities than many photographers or filmmakers. My viewers loves comparisons between a brand new piece of substances that I’m reviewing and a few present options.

I hold a really in depth equipment of cameras and lenses both to do checks on, to movie with, or to have some extent of comparability to new options.

I additionally attempt to hold lenses from a wide range of totally different lensmakers to be able to be conversant in their merchandise, to supply some factors of comparability for brand spanking new gear from that lensmaker, and to keep away from the biases that may type whenever you develop into too hooked up to anybody specific model.

Whenever you deal with dearer gear, for instance, you run the chance of being disconnected from the gear that extra folks from my viewers can really afford.

Anyway, I might most likely find yourself boring everybody if I talked about each single piece of substances that I personal and use, so I’ll share a consultant choice.


Sony Alpha 1 – that is most likely my general favourite digicam and my main take a look at physique for Sony E-mount gear. It primarily does every little thing effectively, and its superior focus and monitoring capabilities make it an awesome physique for testing these features on lenses.

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It has a 50MP decision, making it an efficient instrument for testing lenses nonetheless it’s on the costly facet.

Sony a7IV – this one prices a few third of the value of the Alpha 1, which makes it a much more relatable digicam to many members of my viewers.

I attempt to use and take a look at lenses on each cameras, so my findings don’t find yourself biased by solely utilizing gear on Sony’s finest. This can be a nice digicam and one which I get pleasure from utilizing. I additionally use it very often for filming as a result of it’s straightforward and tremendous dependable.

Sony a6400 – I exploit the a6400 as my main take a look at physique for E-mount APS-C lenses. At this level, the 24MP sensor within the a6400 is similar as in dearer cameras, and its focus system is simply pretty much as good Plus, it’s reasonably priced for most individuals.

Canon EOS R5 – I actually love the EOS R5 as a digicam. Identical to the Alpha 1, it’s just about good at every little thing. It’s most likely my favourite digicam by way of its ergonomics, and it serves as my main take a look at physique for Canon RF mount gear.

Canon EOS M5 – that is an older digicam, and there most likely isn’t a future for the EF-M mount now that Canon has began to launch APS-C mirrorless cameras with an RF mount, however it has served as my take a look at digicam for EF-M mount lenses over current years.

I additionally borrow Fujifilm cameras from Fujifilm Canada after I overview both X-mount (APS-C) or GF-mount (Medium Format) Fuji gear.


Sony G Grasp lenses – I have a tendency to purchase premium lenses for my very own equipment when they’re superior to the competitors.

I at present have two Sony G Grasp lenses in my private equipment – the 35mm F1.4 and 135mm F1.8 GM lenses. The previous has a splendidly compact design and nice optics; the latter is without doubt one of the most superior optical devices I’ve reviewed. I plan so as to add the Sony 50mm F1.2 GM lens to my equipment this yr.

Tamron zoom lenses – actually intriguing lenses. I personal three of them, together with the premium 35-150mm F2-2.8 VXD, a incredible zoom lens with an incredible focal size and brighter than typical most aperture. It’s my favourite general zoom lens proper now and the one I attain for most frequently for occasion settings.

I additionally personal the Tamron 17-28mm F2.8 – a really competent and light-weight wide-angle zoom, and the Tamron 28-200mm F2.8-5.6 RXD that I exploit primarily for journey. It has an awesome focal vary and surprisingly sturdy optical efficiency.

Sigma 85mm f/1.4 DN – that is an extremely sturdy portrait prime lens with each stunning bokeh and very sharp element.

Samyang Prime lenses – Samyang has two separate tiers of lenses on Sony, and I like each of them. The primary tier is their extraordinarily compact “tiny” collection that mix very small measurement with surprisingly sturdy optics.

I’ve the 24mm, 45mm, and 75mm F1.8 lenses in that collection and use all of them usually for after I wish to journey mild. Additionally they have a “professional” degree collection, and I at present use their 50mm F1.4 II and 135mm F1.8 lenses from that degree.

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Voigtlander 65mm f/2 APO Macro – this lens is simply a 1:2 degree macro and is guide focus solely, however it has extremely good optics and an exquisite guide focus ring. It’s my go-to lens for capturing product images for my channel.

Sony 200-600mm G – my go-to lengthy telephoto lens. It’s a bit giant, however the internally zooming design is a pleasure to make use of when you’re on-site. The autofocus and optics are among the many finest I’ve seen on this class of lenses.

Canon L-series lenses – I’ve a few L-series lenses from Canon for my EOS R5, together with one EF mount lens and the 35mm F1.4 II as Canon has not produced a high-end 35mm within the RF mount but.

I additionally use the RF mount 24-105mm F4L due to the versatile focal size and acceptably good picture high quality. I’ve not invested in plenty of RF mount L collection lenses as I discover lots of them to be overpriced, so I attain for Sony lenses as a substitute.

Canon RF 50mm f/1.8 STM – it is a nice worth lens and an awesome measurement to convey alongside. That is arguably one of the best worth lens on the RF platform and one which many individuals can afford.

Samyang primes – for a short while, it appeared like Samyang was actually going to thrive on the RF mount system till Canon shut them down. This transfer on RF to be a closed platform is one which has actually disenchanted me.

 Luckily, each the Samyang AF 14mm F2.8 and 85mm F1.4 stay actually competent choices on my EOS R5 and are lenses I actually get pleasure from utilizing.

Laowa 90mm f/2.8 APO 2x Macro – this lens which I’ve in a Canon RF mount, is a killer for the macro that delivers a 2:1 degree in an Apochromatic design. It’s optically superior to many of the competitors and is a lens I get pleasure from capturing with.

Irix 150mm f/2.8 Macro – this is without doubt one of the few EF mount lenses I’ve left in my equipment in order that I can apply it to both my Canon or Sony cameras by way of an adapter. I’ve hung onto it as a result of there are occasions when an extended focal size is helpful for macro work, and the Irix presents an awesome mixture of fine construct, good optics, and an reasonably priced value level.


Rotolight AEOS and Neo lights – they’re a strong and versatile set of lights that can be utilized with both V-mount or AC energy. Additionally they have results which might be helpful for a operate.

GVM SD300D – a very highly effective highlight for these occasions after I want a LOT of sunshine.

Genaray Crux lights – I additionally use some cheap spherical LED panels from Genaray on set. They are often simply powered by way of Sony F collection kind batteries, are flicker-free, and may be synced to manage brightness and shade temperature throughout a number of lights.

Godox Strobes – I just like the Godox mixture of value and efficiency, and have a variety of Godox flash models, together with some on-camera flashes (V1, V860II) and the AD collection strobes (AD100, AD200, and AD300 models).


Hollyland Lark M1 – the Lark collection is really plug-and-play and is a simple, dependable approach to get audio wirelessly to the digicam for my “speaking head” segments or interviews.

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Hollyland Lark 150 – I’ll attain for the older Lark 150 if I really need a lavalier mic hooked up.

Polsen MC-POD – a podcast mic that I’ve on a broadcast arm for my display screen seize and at-computer sequences.


Peak Design On a regular basis – I exploit plenty of Peak Design luggage and straps. They’re costly however are very effectively made and have plenty of considerate engineering of their product strains.

Peak Design Slide Lite Straps – I want the Peak Design straps for a number of causes. First is their anchor system, which makes it straightforward to connect or take away the strap shortly.

I like the combination with their Seize plates on my cameras, the place I can connect a strap or go proper to a tripod due to the Arca-compatible design.


I exploit just a few totally different tiers of tripods, relying on what I’m doing. My heavy-duty tripod is a Robus RC8860 Carbon Fiber Tripod and my main light-weight tripod is the Peak Design Journey Carbon Fiber which is very costly, however it’s designed so effectively and is extremely helpful.

{Hardware} & Software program

I primarily use Adobe’s Lightroom and Photoshop for my picture modifying, together with some use of Publicity Software program for the good presets.

I do most of my video modifying in Cyberlink’s Director Suite together with some work in DaVinci Resolve. I began utilizing Cyberlink’s PowerProducer a very long time in the past and received very snug with the interface, so I’ve by no means switched.

YouTube is a wierd and great place. After I began out, the concept that I may become profitable on YouTube virtually appeared like a rip-off.

Kind of like, “Invoice Gates will ship you cash for those who move on this e-mail.” Whereas folks of my era (I’m in my mid-40s) may aspire to develop into film stars, children at school proper now aspire to be “YouTubers.”

It’s usually stunning (no less than to me) what turns into an awesome success on YouTube…it’s an unpredictable place.

I’ve had some success there, however I acknowledge that it isn’t as a result of I’m extra proficient than different folks doing the identical factor. I used to be blessed to attach with the precise folks and to develop a stable community of assist.

I’ve had plenty of loyal viewers who’ve grown with me, and I’m very grateful for that.

The time period the trade would use for somebody like me is “Influencer.”

John Maxwell as soon as mentioned that “Management is affect. Plain and easy.” To be an influencer, by that definition, is to be a frontrunner.

I like to consider affect as a checking account. You make deposits and withdrawals. Deposits are made by being reliable and trustworthy, and withdrawals are made after I try to make use of my affect for some goal.

I wish to be very cautious to make use of what affect I’ve properly, in order a reviewer, I work very arduous at being as balanced and goal as I can.

I don’t wish to be considered as a salesman (as a result of I’m not); I wish to be a frontrunner, to make use of my distinctive entry to new merchandise as a method to assist others make an knowledgeable choices for themselves.

I want to assume that this mentality has helped me achieve success.

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