If you create designs for Print on Demand, you know there is one email that will get your heart racing, that your artwork is under review for copyright or Intellectual Property violations on Redbubble or other Print on Demand service. Since November, Redbubble has been cracking down on accounts and seem to be more stringent with their review of products being uploaded to the store. I have had quite a few questions about this, so what causes Redbubble to put your artwork into the “under review” category, and should you panic about it? There are a few reasons this can happen, let’s talk about them…

Why is this happening?

When you get the dreaded “Your artwork is under review” email from Redbubble, it can be confusing and a bit frustrating because the email is vague and does not spell out what you might have done wrong – this is an auto-generated email and is intended to cover the lesser offenses as well as the big ones. When you upload a design to Redbubble, the server reviews the submission tags and details, searching for overt copyright infringement. A common example is this: you upload a design with a spaceship and tag it with Star Wars or use Star Wars in your description. Star Wars is a copyrighted phrase, and you are not allowed to use it to sell your spaceship designs, even if the design doesn’t contain the actual likenesses of a Star Wars spaceship. This is the same as uploading a sports design and tagging it with NFL, NBA, or other franchise.

If you are careful about checking the trademark and copyright status of your designs before you upload them, and don’t use obvious copyrighted words or phrases in your tags, then you will likely be just fine, and your designs will be reinstated to the store in a few days. Often the system kicks the design to a human to make sure that the content is not violating any intellectual property before can be sold. If this is where you are, then I would recommend that you wait a week and if they haven’t sent you a response, then contact Redbubble support at: Redbubble Marketplace Integrity Team dmca.support@redbubble.com and ask them nicely about the status of your design.

Target Tags change

Sometimes the review process is triggered by using tags that you would not think would cause an issue. I recently helped one of my readers through this process, and the first thing we did was start with the design and the tags he used. The design was generic enough and was something he drew in Adobe Illustrator; I did a search for trademarks on the topic of the design and all turned up fine. The problem came from the tags. When he uploaded the design, he used the word Redneck in his tags. This word triggered the process because of the NFL team Washington Redskins changing their name, and the media coverage surrounding it. Redneck seems to be the alternate name choice or suggestion from the public for the team. In the case of his design, the word redneck was appropriate, and he wasn’t even eluding to the controversy with the Washington Redskins in his design or description. He did as I suggested and waited a week then sent a genuinely nice email asking if Redbubble had any updates on the design review process. In this case, the design was reinstated, and no harm was done. Redbubble is very reasonable when it comes to reviewing copyright infringement. They see a lot of stolen work and a lot of people using copyrighted material in their designs so be nice to them and be patient because they are reviewing a lot of work daily.

Strike Three!

How many times can you get the “your work is under review” email from Redbubble before your account gets banned? First, I would say that if you are reading this and you are concerned about the prospect of your account being banned because you are using copyrighted material in your designs, then you have a larger problem. If you are using material you do not own in your designs, then you are stealing. Other artists and companies spend a lot of time and money to promote their brand and build their name and reputation, and it is not right for you to profit from that by using their content in your designs. I have heard between two and three strikes against your account before you are banned by Redbubble. I would imagine it depends on the kind of copyright infringement you are doing. If you are using a baby Yoda riding a Nike swoosh holding a Starbucks with a pot leaf behind him, then I would consider that a massive legel of infringement. If you accidentally add a copyrighted tag into your list, or accidentally put a copyrighted phrase in your description, I am betting Redbubble will be much more lenient in their ruling on your account.

Check your Copyrights

When researching content for new designs, you should always be taking the time to look up the trademarks and copyrights of your proposed design before you even start putting pen to paper. Even using material that some consider “grey area” like videogames in your designs is not allowed. There was a team that made the game, and an artist that created the characters, and programmers who made the code. You were not a part of the team and you do not have the right to make designs featuring their work for your profit. This applies to large and small companies and means you cannot use Mario from Nintendo and you cannot use the characters from the game Among Us in your designs.

Conclusion

So, if you can’t use any of these properties when making your design, what are you supposed to do? Create your own stuff. But what if your design isn’t as exciting or interesting without the words Just Do it? Create your own catchphrase, don’t expect Nike, who spent millions marketing Just Do It to let you use it for free. What if your design isn’t as cool without the Among Us characters? Create your own. It is all plain and simple. If you didn’t create the art/character/drink etc. DON’T USE IT!

Now get out there and get designing!

Finding the next elusive trend for Print on Demand can be a time-consuming and frustrating process. Most use the Bubble Trends tool to get a snapshot of the day’s trends on Redbubble then start making shirts if the demand versus availability is reasonable. The thinking (and what most YouTubers will tell you) is that if the phrase “Big Cow” is trending and there are only a few hundred designs showing available on bubble trends, you should drop everything and make shirts with “Big Cow” because that is where the money is. The problem comes when you make your shirts and upload them and the sales just don’t come. What is happening? And if the trends sites aren’t the best place to look for trends then where do you go? Let’s talk about it…

A moment in time

Most of the Redbubble trends tools are a snapshot of what was being searched for at that time. The numbers of available shirts are a bit misleading. You must realize that just like you, everyone else is searching for that next elusive trend to jump on. When the trends tool took the snapshot there may have been only a few hundred designs available, but unless you are there to jump on the new design trends when the next snapshot happens you are going to be behind. By the time you get your design done, how many others will already be available?

The tough truth

Chasing trends is a rough game, especially if you are not a graphic designer. If you use Canva or another service that offers pre-made templates for your Print on Demand designs, the truth is that they all look like the designs everyone else using those services are making. Someone who knows graphic design and does Print on Demand likely has a catalog of originally created assets ready to go. I would venture that they have a few different kinds of cows, maybe funny maybe serious that they can use right away. This designer likely has their own custom templates ready to drop their cow drawing into and all they need to do is add the text and a bit of polish and they will end up with an original custom design that is light years better than the one you created on Canva or on your smartphone. When the customer comes across a design that looks like 20 other people’s or the custom original cow, guess which one is going to sell.

Making sense of it all

The reason you aren’t getting sales from your trend chasing makes total sense if you take a step back. First, you must ask yourself if your designs can stand shoulder to shoulder with the other people that are making the same themed design. When I chase trends, I always make original content (not stolen from google images and not from Canva) instead of just making a text design. Text designs especially for trends are the low-hanging fruit that everyone goes for right away. Second, you need to ask yourself if the trend you are chasing or creating designs for is going to still be a thing by the time your design launches on the sites. If you are jumping on trends too late this could also be why you aren’t seeing the sales you want. If the YouTuber you watch does a weekly trends video on Monday but you don’t watch it until Wednesday night, how many designs are already available for that trend, and will the one you create on Canva be better than the ones being created by graphic designers? Think of trends like a crowded pool, if the pool is going to be open on Sunday and you arrive way later in the afternoon it is going to be very crowded and difficult to be able to swim and enjoy yourself. If you wait until everyone goes home for the day, you are going to get some time to yourself in the pool but it will be closing before you get a good swim in. Does that make sense?

Finding good trends

The harder something is to do, the more rewarding it can be. Using the Bubble Trends tool will give you a snapshot of trends from Redbubble, but something like Google Trends will give you more granular data that you can use to look at trends on Google, which will translate into trends for Print on Demand – but it will be more work than going to one website and having the information spoon-fed to you.  A good source of trend data is Merch Titans or just looking around on Amazon. Keeping a close eye on trending topics on social media services like Twitter is also a good place to start, but again, it will be more work than just clicking a trends tool. Soon we will have a full review of Merch Titans and Google Trend for Print on Demand users, so stay tuned!

Conclusion

Did you find the information in this article useful? Support us by sharing this and other articles on this site to your Print on Demand forums. We can’t monetize our content because we use copyrighted words, so we rely on our readers to share our content to support us.

Get out and get designing!

Getting those first sales can be difficult. If you frequent Facebook or Reddit forums geared towards sharing your work, you might be saddened by everyone boasting about all the sales they are getting, but you are seeing very few if any. Do visitor numbers matter? Do you get traffic on your Print on Demand shop but no sales? Do you have hundreds upon hundreds of people favoriting your art but no sales? Traffic, visitors, and favorites can be difficult to understand so let’s talk about it…

Traffic

There are three distinct sources for traffic headed to your Print on Demand store. In the case of Redbubble, or Teepublic, they will start promoting your work right away. If you are using Teespring then you have to fulfill the requirement s of their trust score (by getting a few sales via direct promotion or direct marketing) before they will start promoting your work. Traffic types include:

Site traffic

Redbubble, Teepublic, or Teespring market your work more as it sells better. The more you sell the higher your work will rank in the pages when a customer searches the site. Your work can appear in their email advertisements, blog posts, or direct ad sales on sites like Facebook. This one is pretty simple – the more you sell the more they promote you and the more you sell.

Direct customer engagement

This is where you promote your work on Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, Instagram, or direct email. The user clicks the link you provide with your advertising material and is taken to your shop. This is where you are going to get your biggest number of sales right away. The more you promote your work the more you will drive direct customers to your shop. Finding good places, good hashtags and niche forums to advertise your work should be a good portion of your time spent on marketing your products. Do remember that there is a fine line between advertising and spamming. Putting an ad for a cool new design in your favorite yoga forum is good, but flooding the forums with all the products that your cool new yoga design is available on is spammy and will make most people tune you out or worse cause them to complain to the forum admins about your poor advertising practices. Good engagement, and mentioning your wares when you can will go a longer way than carpet bombing the forums with images and links to the same or similar products that you are selling.  

Organic Traffic

When you fill out those description boxes or add tags to your work, the search engines like Google, Yahoo, and Bing crawl it and use that information to generate results that a user can click on when they search for a specific topic. Remember that the bigger the niche you are in, the less likely a user is to see your designs. If a user searches for funny yoga shirts how many results will come up and how likely are you to be in the top few pages? A lot and not likely. This is where specific descriptions are going to pay off. If a user searches for funny yoga shirts with cats meditating, and you have those keywords in your description or tags then you are much more likely to get a successful search result. Just make sure you are using truthful and relevant tags for your work. You can get more traffic to your designs by adding tags that are copyrighted but Redbubble and other sites will quickly delete your design for inaccurate tags or remove the offending tags from your listing. Be responsible with your tags and not spammy. 

Consider the source

Now you know where you are getting your traffic, let’s talk about the kinds of traffic. If you are targeting people interested in yoga and you are a member of a yoga forum, that is a great place to talk about and share your work.  As mentioned earlier, engagement with the community, talking with people and answering questions, etc. can give you opportunities to mention or show your work which feels a lot less spammy than flooding the forum with photos of your cool new design.

If you frequent Facebook and Reddit sharing groups, where artists talk about and share their work, you can get a lot of sharing traffic but not buying traffic. I have talked to so many people struggling with their shops that have hundreds or thousands of likes and followers but only a few sales. This means that that person is doing a good job of marketing, but not a good job of directing that marketing effort. If you are in sharing groups with other artists, I hate to be the one to break the bad news to you, but most of those people are trying to sell their work too, not buy yours. Favorites don’t go a long way to getting sales if they are just from people who are looking to get you to favorite their work too.  You can have a million followers, but if they are all followers that are looking o get sales not people who are interested in your work then you might be starting to realize where your problem lies.

Data Matters

If you are relying on the website (like Redbubble) to give you the data you need to figure out why you aren’t seeing sales, you are missing out on part of the equation. You will see where the traffic came from and how that translated to sales, but what if you could see what the user was searching for when they found your designs? What if you knew how many times the user was shown your content before they clicked on it (impressions versus clicks) This is where Google Analytics comes in. Now, I’m not going to reinvent the wheel here, there are a million and one tutorials to get Google Analytics setup with your Print on Demand shop, so just do a Google or Youtube search. It is very easy, takes only a few minutes, and the data you will get will be much more interesting and informative than the culled data you get from the Print on Demand sites. Most sites like Redbubble just need the tracking ID that Google gives you when you go to www.google.com/analytics (it looks like UA-733458177-1) Once you have your analytics account setup and make a property you just need to paste it into the tracking section of your account on Redbubble. Its super easy.

Losing Traffic

If you had good traffic and sales but have recently noticed a drop off in customers, where you are sharing your work might be the culprit. If you spend a lot of time in the Redbubble and other print on demand sharing sites on Facebook people might be “borrowing” your ideas. Thievery in Print on Demand is rampant and there are no safeguards other than copyrighting all of your work before you post it. Many times that can be expensive ($65.00 per copyright submission of 750 images), and even then most of the stealing happens with sellers that are not in the United States and therefore not applicable to our copyright laws. If you have found your traffic taking a hit, consider doing a reverse google image lookup on some of your more popular designs. Just right-click the image on your proint on demand site and choose look up image on google (in the Chrome browser). Google will find instances of your shirt design and you can see if people have pilfered your work.   

Conclusion

Make sure you are focusing your marketing efforts on the right place online, and make sure you have all the data you can get to make informed decisions about the work you are putting into marketing your work online. At the end of the day, you can have a million followers and likes, but if they all come from people who aren’t going to buy your stuff it is useless. Most customers don’t look at likes and followers before they buy, they see a shirt or product they like with your design and they buy it.

Did you find this information useful? Drop me a message and let me know. Because of the trademarked names in many of my articles, I can’t use ads or monetize it so sharing this content with other print on demand artists help me to keep this site going and provide content like this.

Get out there and get designing!

The short answer is: it depends. Before we get to the good bits here, let me state that I am not a lawyer, and nothing in this article is intended to replace the advice of legal counsel. If you have specific questions about using images downloaded from the internet in your print on demand designs, I always suggest contacting a copyright attorney. Ok, now the rest of the answer: The long answer to this question lies in the source of the image you procured from google. There are stock photography websites like Shutterstock and Adobe Stock which allow you to license their images for personal or commercial use, and the price you pay will be significantly more for commercial use (and the restrictions of how it can be used are more stringent.). So, at this point, you might be asking yourself can I or can’t I use the images I find on google for my designs?

It is complicated

Before you use an image downloaded off google in your design you need to be aware of the legal rights of the image holder, the person who actually took the photo or made the image you want to use. Has this person released the content into creative commons where anyone can use it as they see fit? Have they released it to stock sites so they can make a per-image fee from its use? If you are not 100% sure of the source of the image and how it can be used, then don’t use it. Artists have rights, and their images come with inherent copyright just lie your print on demand designs do. If you create a cool design and upload it and someone steals it right away, how do you feel that they are making money off the design you made? Is this starting to make a little more sense now?

Long term considerations  

If you download an image from a stock website and use it in one of your designs do you know your rights? If the stock site goes out of business does the license you are using the image under still apply? Or are you required to take your design down? If you get dinged for copyright on one of your print on demand sites do you have a copy of the image license on file that you can access if you need it? If you get sued would you be able to produce a verifiable license agreement (even if the website was out of business) for the image you used and made money from?  

Pexels

If the source of the image you are using is a website like pexels.com then according to their license agreement, you can (as of this writing) use images downloaded from their site for commercial applications like blogs, websites, commercials, and even print on demand designs. I would of course refer you to their site for the most current restrictions in their license agreement.

Here is a link to the Terms and Conditions for Pelxels:

https://www.pexels.com/terms-of-service

Is it worth the trouble?

This all sounds like a lot to keep track of. If I download an image from Pexels I have to keep a copy of the license agreement and I have to actually read the agreement to ensure that my application is not voiding my license for that image? I also must keep track of the sources I have used in my designs and ensure that the licensing has not changed for the materials I am using in my designs? Yes. The alternative is that you get sued and lose your car, house dog, etc. Again, I will state that I’m not a legal scholar but I have a lot of experience with licensed properties, and believe me if you are being taken to court over copyright infringement you should be concerned. Most lawyers won’t take a case unless there are clear and current materials representing the copyright claim. You do have an LLC (limited liability corporation) that you run your design business through just in case, right?

Everyone is in the same boat

So what if you are like the many out there who are doing print on demand designs with no graphic design background or skills? You don’t have the ability to make cool designs yourself so you scour the internet for clipart and images you can use for your designs. Well, I hate to be the one to break this to you, but there are a lot in the print on demand industry who do exactly the same thing you do. When you use images from Pexels, yes, they are useable in commercial designs, but realize that everyone else is also using the images from Pexels in their designs as well. Print on demand is a very saturated market to be in and when you are working in a saturated market, you need to figure out what you can do to set yourself apart from the crowd.

Set yourself apart

If a customer comes to Redbubble and searches for “I love coffee” shirts, and five results come up, two with just words, two with the same coffee cup image from google images and the words and one with a cool character holding coffee which one do you think is going to sell? Generally, depending on the design the more unique offering will be the one that sells. So how do you get to be the guy selling the unique design instead of the cookie-cutter design everyone else is doing? Take some classes, get real software like photoshop and illustrator and learn to use them. If you are using the free options, pre-made templates or just text designs your work is not going to stand out from the crowd. Learning to make (good) unique designs can be a long road to take, but you will sell more in the long run, and what is even cooler is that once you make your fortune from your designs you can release them to stock sites for others to license and make you even more money from. Cool huh?

Conclusion

Is stealing images from the internet for your designs worth it? No. at best, your images will get copyright flagged and taken down, at worst you will get sued and the money you made from that design will have to go to the rightful owner (the creator of the design) and your lawyer. Take your own pictures, make your own designs, create your own illustrations and overall you will get a financial win and a moral one because you didn’t steal other artist’s work to make money.

Get out there and get designing!

 

Get yours here: Travel Duffel Bag Waterproof Canvas Overnight Bag Leather Weekend Oversized Carryon Handbag Brown

Duffel bags are so great for weekend or overnight travel. Here at Epic Shit we get a ton of travel bags to review and almost never post reviews because they tend to be cheap and fall apart easily. With that im mind, enter the Travel Duffel Bag Waterproof Canvas Overnight bag from NEWHEY. I love a duffel bag that is roomy and has enough space for all my stuff for a weekend getaway, but still has pockets I can place harder to find things like my cellphone charger. How does this 46-dollar Duffel stand up to road trips, plane trips and weekend getaways? Read on…

Size matters

The most important features of a Duffel bag are the size and the construction. I have had Duffels bags that were just too big and once they were filled the handles felt like they were going to rip off. I would put this Duffel Bag squarely in the middle size range with dimensions of 22.83(L) by 11.8(W) and 11.8(H),   the included shoulder strap expands from 27.9”–52′.  When I think about Duffle Bag size, I consider smaller than this bag suitable for the gym, and larger than this more for a week-long trip. This bag holds enough clothing and supplies for a 2-3 day weekend trip or business overnighter. I consider this the perfect size for a grab and go over even a weekend roller suitcase. Before we got this, my wife used a weekend size Samsonite roller. Nice she saw the quality of this bag, she bought one for herself. They are great to stuff with clothes and toiletries and throw in the car for a getaway. The interior pockets keep stuff organized so you don’t have to dig around in the bottom looking for loose items like with other bags.

Construction

This is where I was really shocked. I expected a 46-dollar bag to be cheap, but this feels like a much more expensive bag. This Travel Duffel Bag is made of High-density waterproof canvas and has nicely rounded comfortable to hold leather handles. The stitching all around is top notch and it had four metal feet. The zippers are heavy duty and I have yet to have any issues with them even when my bag was stuffed to capacity. I love that the canvas is waterproof, we tested this on our first outing last year. When we arrived at our hotel, it stated pouring and even after sitting in the rain for a few minutes all the clothing inside was still bone dry. I doubt the bag could handle being submerged of course but for the testing and rain exposure I have thrown at this top rated cheap little bag I am very impressed.

The bags come in a few different colors, brown and grey as well as camo patterns.  

User experience

I have been using this bag for nearly a year now. I have stuffed it full and thrown it in the back of the car, stuffed it full and carried it on top of my suitcase on a cross country flight and left it sitting in the rain while I checked into a hotel in the mountains. With all the wear and tear this bag has endured I would expect to see a lot more fraying on the edges or stitching, but I am so far extremely happy with the quality and build of this Travel Duffel Bag.  I have to say I really love this little bag.

Conclusion

I’m shocked at the quality of this bag for the price. I’m happy to recommend this to anyone looking for a nice medium, size Travel Duffle Bag that can easily hold enough clothing and supplies for a weekend getaway or short business trip. The handles are comfortable, and the shoulder strap doesn’t dig into your neck when you are carrying it fully loaded. This bag really feels like a great alternative to a more expensive piece of luggage. I own two of them and am strongly considering these as Christmas presents this year for friends and family. Great bag, great value.

I love to hear from my readers! If you have questions about this or any review on this site, or If you have a product you would like us to review, drop me a message on Twitter or on the contact form here on the website. Have a great day!

Twitter: @EpicShit9

Colors and styles

 

Get yours here: Canon RC-6 camera remote

If you are a Canon camera user like I am, and you want to take self portraits there are two ways, via your phone and the Canon app or the Canon RC-6 remote. Amazon does sell an alternative remote under their Amazon Basics label, but I have found that to be a bit finicky even though it is half the price. The Amazon Basics remote also does not work with every Canon camera the RC-6 does. So, is the RC-6 worth 20 dollars just to remotely trigger your camera? Short answer – yes!

Compatibility

I hope that with this review I can shed some light on the operation and compatibility of this unit. Many online reviews for this unit do not spend any time on the compatibility of the RC-6 remote, therefore you are left wondering if it will work with your model of camera before you buy. From the Canon official site, these are the camera bodies this unit will work with:

— EOS Rebel T7i Body Refurbished
— EOS 5D Mark IV Body with Canon Log
— EOS Rebel T3i Body Refurbished
— EOS 5DS Body
— EOS 80D EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM Lens Kit
— EOS Rebel T2i EF-S 18-55mm IS II Lens Kit
— EOS 5DS R Body
— EOS Rebel T7i Body
— EOS 6D Body Refurbished
— EOS Rebel T7i EF-S 18-55mm f/4-5.6 IS STM Lens Kit
— EOS M100 EF-M 15-45mm f/3.5-6.3 IS STM Lens Kit Black
— EOS M100 EF-M 15-45mm f/3.5-6.3 IS STM & EF-M 55-200mm f/4.5-6.3 IS STM Bundle Black
— EOS Rebel SL1 with EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM Lens Kit White Refurbished
— EOS 7D Mark II Body Wi-Fi Adapter Kit
— EOS M100 EF-M 15-45mm f/3.5-6.3 IS STM Lens Kit White
— EOS M6 Body Black
— EOS 7D Mark II EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM Wi-Fi Adapter Lens Kit
— EOS 6D Mark II Body Refurbished
— EOS 5D Mark IV Body
— EOS 5D Mark IV EF 24-105mm f/4L IS II USM Lens Kit
— EOS M5 EF-M 18-150mm f/3.5-6.3 IS STM Lens Kit
— EOS 80D Body
— EOS Rebel T5i 18-135mm IS STM Lens Kit Refurbished
— EOS Rebel SL1 EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM Lens Kit White
— EOS Rebel T5i 18-55mm IS STM Lens Kit Refurbished
— EOS Rebel T5i Body Refurbished
— EOS Rebel T7i EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM Lens Kit
— EOS 77D Body
— EOS 77D EF-S 18-55mm f/4-5.6 IS STM Lens Kit
— EOS M6 EF-M 15-45mm f/3.5-6.3 IS STM Lens Kit Black
— EOS Rebel T7i Video Creator Kit
— EOS 77D EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM Lens Kit
— EOS M6 EF-M 18-150mm f/3.5-6.3 IS STM Lens Kit Black
— EOS M6 Video Creator Kit
— EOS M6 EF-M 15-45mm f/3.5-6.3 & EF-M 55-200mm f/4.5-6.3 IS STM Bundle Black
— EOS 60D EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS Lens Kit
— EOS 60D Body
— EOS M6 Body Silver
— EOS 5D Mark IV EF 24-70mm f/4L IS USM Lens Kit
— EOS 60D EF-S 18-200mm IS Lens Kit
— EOS M6 EF-M 15-45mm f/3.5-6.3 IS STM Lens Kit Silver
— EOS M5 EF-M 15-45mm f/3.5-6.3 IS STM Lens Kit
— EOS Rebel T2i Body Refurbished
— EOS M5 Body
— EOS Rebel T2i EF-S 18-55mm IS Lens Kit Refurbished
— EOS Rebel SL1 Body Refurbished
— EOS Rebel SL1 with EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM Lens Kit Black Refurbished
— EOS 5DS R Body Refurbished
— EOS 5DS Body Refurbished
— Refurbished EOS Rebel T6s Body
— EOS M6 EF-M 18-150mm f/3.5-6.3 IS STM Lens Kit Silver
— EOS Rebel T5i Body
— EOS M6 EF-M 15-45mm f/3.5-6.3 & EF-M 55-200mm f/4.5-6.3 IS STM Bundle Silver
— EOS Rebel SL1 Body
— EOS 60Da Body
— EOS 5D Mark IV Body Refurbished
— EOS 5D Mark III Body
— EOS Rebel T4i 18-135mm IS STM Lens Kit Refurbished
— EOS 60Da Body Refurbished
— EOS Rebel T6s EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM Kit Refurbished
— EOS Rebel T6i Body Refurbished
— EOS 5D Mark III EF 24-70mm f/4L IS USM Lens Kit
— EOS Rebel T6i EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM Kit Refurbished
— EOS Rebel T6i EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM Kit Refurbished
— EOS 6D Mark II Body
— EOS 70D EF-S 18-135mm IS STM Lens Kit Refurbished
— EOS 6D Mark II EF 24-105mm f/4L IS II USM Kit
— EOS 70D EF-S 18-55mm IS STM Lens Kit Refurbished
— EOS Rebel T5i 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM Lens Kit
— EOS 6D Mark II EF 24-105mm F3.5-5.6 IS STM
— EOS Rebel T5i EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM Lens Kit
— Refurbished EOS 70D Body
— EOS Rebel SL1 EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM Lens Kit
— EOS 70D EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM Lens Kit
— EOS Rebel T4i Body
— EOS Rebel T4i 18-55mm IS II Lens Kit Refurbished
— EOS 7D Mark II Body Refurbished
— EOS 70D EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM Lens Kit
— EOS Rebel T3i Body
— EOS M3 Body Refurbished
— EOS M3 EF-M 18-55mm IS STM Kit Black Refurbished
— EOS 7D Mark II EF-S 18-135mm IS STM Lens Kit Refurbished
— EOS 6D Body
— EOS 6D EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM Lens Kit
— EOS 7D EF-S 18-135mm IS Lens Kit
— EOS Rebel T3i EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS II Lens Kit
— EOS 5D Mark III Body Refurbished
— EOS 5D Mark III EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM Lens Kit
— EOS M3 EF-M 18-55mm IS STM Kit White Refurbished
— EOS Rebel T4i Body Refurbished
— EOS Rebel T2i EF-S 18-55mm IS II Lens Kit
— EOS 7D EF 28-135mm IS Lens Kit
— EOS Rebel T2i Body
— EOS 7D Body
— EOS M3 EF-M 18-55mm IS STM & EF-M 55-200mm STM Lens Kit Refurbished
— EOS 60D EF-S 18-135mm IS Lens Kit Refurbished
— EOS Rebel T1i Body Refurbished
— EOS 60D Body Refurbished
— EOS Rebel T3i Body
— EOS Rebel T7i EF-S 18-135 IS STM Kit Refurbished
— EOS Rebel T3i EF-S 18-55mm IS II Lens Kit Refurbished
— EOS Rebel T7i EF-S 18-55 IS STM Kit Refurbished

It is a huge list, and hopefully should clear up any compatibility concerns you might have. If your camera is on the list, you are good to go.

Operation

In your camera settings (not on the remote), for most models you have a timer option which can be set between 2 and ten seconds depending on the model of your camera body. I have the 7D mark II and the 5D Mark III and IV and they all have two and ten second timer settings. Set up your camera on a tripod pointing toward you and point the remote at the camera, press the button and the camera will focus and trigger the shutter. This is more for photographers wanting to be in the frame, or for photographers of kids who will be near their subject to coax a smile then press the shutter.  I personally like the single button operation.

Is the RC-6 better than the Canon app? The app gives you access to more of your camera’s operation, but sometimes all you need to do is trigger the shutter. With the app you have to connect to the camera via wi-fi or bluetooth (if your camera has wi-fi connectivity) and often you will lose connection. The RC-6 is simple one button operation. 

Bulb Mode

If you are into long exposure photography or light painting this is perfect, it works with the bulb mode. Set your camera on bulb mode then click once to open the shutter and a second time to close it – no need to touch your camera.

Conclusion

The top rated Canon RC-6 is a great little cheap and simple remote, which allows you to be in the frame of your shot or to trigger your camera for long exposures without jostling the camera around causing blur. I always have this remote in my bag since it is so small. I would order a second battery once your unit arrives so that you have one in your bag. I find that if I don’t use my remote for long periods of time the battery will die as you would expect. Happy Shooting!

 I love to hear from my readers! If you have questions about this or any review on this site, or If you have a product you would like us to review, drop me a message on Twitter or on the contact form here on the website. Have a great day!

Twitter: @EpicShit9

 

 

 

 Get yours here: Altura Photo Professional Rain Cover for Canon Nikon Sony DSLR Mirrorless Cameras

I ordered my Altura Photo Professional Rain Cover Protector for DSLR Cameras about a year ago and wanted to try it in several different conditions before writing this review. So far, I have used the cover in rain, snow, and blowing sand and it performed flawlessly keeping my camera dry and free of debris through the toughest downpour.  When I bought this camera cover, Amazon had it top rated and I can see why, it works very well.

A raincoat for your camera

I shoot with a Canon 5D mark IV, and often use the 70-200 f2,8 IS II with this rain cover. It is difficult to get too excited about a rain cover because it either does the job and keeps your camera dry or it does not. My camera(s) is/are weather sealed, but I use this rain cover out of an abundance of caution. My backup cameras are Canon 5d mark III and Canon 7D mark II, all my cameras fit perfectly (though snugly) in the Altura Photo Professional Rain Cover. I like the drawstrings for extra security over some of the cheaper alternative brands. When you are out in the elements, especially the wind you will appreciate the extra coverage the drawstrings provide. The armholes work well and are long enough to keep the camera from getting wet even in blowing rain. The clear back panel offers viewing of the camera screen and settings. I have read some other reviews that say this screen can discolor with age, but so far, I have not had any issues and I have shot in the elements a lot.   

The rain

I used the Altura Photo Professional Rain Cover on the deck of the cruise ship during our trip to Alaska. Between the salt spray and rain, I was certainly concerned about the camera staying dry (and especially free of salt) while I was up on deck. I shot for over an hour at a time and the camera made it through dry and working perfectly. The Altura Photo Professional Rain Cover is designed to protect and shield a small or professional DSLR camera and it certainly did the job well. I even had several people borrow it and use it on other smaller cameras when I was not using it. This little rain cover has had Sony, Nikon Fuji and everything else in it with no problems.

The snow

I was invited to shoot the winter games for the Special Olympics in Colorado, and the day of the event was not nice at all. With blowing snow, and an average temperature of 10 degrees, I decided to use the Altura Photo Professional Rain Cover to keep with camera free of melting snow. I think the cover helped to keep my hands a bit warmer than other times I have shot without a cover in blowing snow. The cover is made from high quality waterproof nylon, so it wasn’t insulating by any means, but the cover did seem to help maintain a bit of heat from my hands and make the long day shooting a bit more comfortable.

The sand dunes

The last harsh environment type I tried with the Altura Photo Professional Rain Cover was in the Great Sand Dunes in Colorado. I shot most of the afternoon and into the evening with blowing sand. There is nothing worse than getting sand in your lens or camera housing (well other than salt water of course). Maybe this cover was not intended for blowing sand as much as it was for rain, it did a great job. After the sunset, I walked back to the car and took the camera out of the cover and was pleasingly surprised that it was very free of sand and grit. I appreciated the cover protecting the top of my tripod as well. Now, if they only made one for the tripod legs so they didn’t get sand in them!

Conclusion

After a year with the Altura Photo Professional Rain Cover I can say I would happily recommend this to another photographer. The dual adjustable sleeves are great and have worked well with everyone who has used this cover. I also really like the protection from the full-length double zipper. The cover works well and provides access to camera controls whether hand holding or using a tripod. It is tough to get excited about a rain cover for your camera, but if I was going to, this would be the one to get excited about.

I love to hear from my readers! If you have questions about this or any review on this site, or If you have a product you would like us to review, drop me a message on Twitter or on the contact form here on the website. Have a great day!

Twitter: @EpicShit9

 

Get yours here: Godox AD200 200ws strobe

Photography gear is so expensive! Nearly every day I read on photo forums where people are looking for budget gear that performs as well as top rated equipment. Let’s put this in terms of cars, if you are looking for a car that drives as well as a Porsche and will retain nearly all its aftermarket value but costs 1/5 of the price, prepare yourself for disappointment. If you are looking for a suitable vehicle that will handle well in the snow and maintain much of its aftermarket price, a Subaru might be the ticket. Sure, it won’t have the power of the Porsche or the people checking you out on the street as you drive by, but it will get you where you need to go and be more than functional. Let’s be honest, who can afford a new Porsche anyway?

When I see people saying they like the way a Profoto strobe looks, but they are on a tight budget I always recommend the Godox AD200 or AD200 PRO line of strobes. There is a ton of information on these strobes, so rather than rehashing the same old material, I will focus (yeah get ready for some photo groaners) on some areas of confusion with these units and tell you about my experience shooting a body of work that has been exhibited many times.

Clearing the confusion

Whenever you do research on the Godox AD200/AD200 PRO line of strobes, you almost always see them mentioned with the Flashpoint eVOLV200, this is because they are the same unit with different branding. The camera store Adorama re-brands the Godox line of strobes to their Flashpoint brand. Same units, same batteries, (in most cases) same packaging and all the accessories work on the Godox or the Flashpoint units interchangeably. Which one is better? They both great, Godox has great customer support and a call will usually yield very fair returns or exchanges, which is also true for anything bought from Adorama under the Flashpoint brand. Since all the accessories fit either unit, I consider them interchangeable. I personally have the Flashpoint units but have friends with he Godox version and they are pretty much the same unit.

My other strobe is a Porsche

Full disclaimer, I usually shoot with Profoto gear, but sometimes it is just too bug and heavy to bring with me if I am doing a location shoot. I shoot for my work all over the United States, and I used to use pelican boxes and bring my big strobes with me everywhere, but eventually I got tired of the hassle and put together a smaller, lightweight location shooting setup which I centered around a couple of AD200s. The AD200 units are just a bit bigger than a standard flash and have four times the power and a lot more versatility.

Lighting differently

When putting together the components for the best cheap location shooting setup, many might be tempted to run towards a top rated flash like the Canon 600EX II series. I don’t personally like the camera-mounted strobes as much as I used to. I don’t think they have the versatility that a multifunction strobe like the AD200/eVOLVE200 has. The strobe comes with the Fresnel head, (like the head of a speedlight but doesn’t zoom) but for my work, I primarily use the included bare bulb head in a strip softbox or the 32-inch umbrella from Godox. The bare bulb head produces omnidirectional light and I have found it to work exceptionally well in a softbox or umbrella. If I am looking to have precise control over the direction of the light, when shooting product images or low key portraits I will use a strip softbox, otherwise portraits work well with the umbrella, giving a larger spread of light suitable for standard headshot type portraits.

The Fresnel head, in a softbox gives a stronger hotspot (like any standard camera mounted flash would) but is more efficient than the bare bulb head. When shooting on battery powered strobes, every consideration must be made to conserve power and squeak every shot out of a battery when on location. How does the AD200 do in terms of battery life? The documentation boasts 500 plus flashes at full power. Does it live up to the hype?

Battery Life

I know what you’re thinking, 500 full power flashes on a single charge with a battery this small seems inconceivable. When I first purchased the AD200 I was terrified the battery would give out the first time I took it as my key (primary) light on a location shoot. The first shoot I did with the AD200 was a low key Bodyscapes style portrait session, so I was not pushing as much power as you would with a standard portrait session. I ended up shooting around 50% power most of the day and after 1000 images I was done with the shoot and still had plenty of power left in the battery to keep going. I set myself up for success shooting lower power for the first shoot purposely and I was very happy with the results. The strobe performed very well, experiencing only one misfire during the shoot.

Feeling quite confident in the AD200 at this point, I scheduled a regular portrait shoot where I would be overpowering bright daytime indoor light. I didn’t buy a second battery for the AD200 as I was determined to run it out of power during a shoot. Would this relatively cheap strobe have enough power to last through a portrait session where I would be pushing the power capabilities of the unit? I setup with AD200 in a Godox S-type bracket which would give me the ability to attach a 32-inch Godox umbrella. Side note: I’m not a Godox fanboy or anything, I just happened to find all this Godox gear on sale at Amazon. Setting the exposure my ambient light, I fired up the AD200 in High Speed Sync (HSS) since at ISO 100 with an aperture of 5.6 (because I wanted the background to be somewhat in focus) I was at 1/800 shutter speed which put the unit in HSS mode. I shot all afternoon and ended up with just over 500 images for the day. With the ambient light, the AD200 spent most of the day in full power and after the shoot I still had enough power to shoot more.

I have shot with the unit many times since that day and I still have never bought a second battery and to this day I have never run out of power on a shoot. It appears Godox underestimates their battery capacity. I have since become very comfortable with the power consumption and have yet to run into a problem.

The only downside to the battery for this unit is that it does take a long time to charge to full. Not a big deal, and I haven’t ever had to wait for it to charge during a shoot. I suppose the first time this becomes a problem for me I will buy a second battery for the unit.  

Triggered

I paired the AD200 with the Godox Xpro-C TTL Wireless Flash Trigger for Canon (They have them for Nikon and Sony etc.). The trigger will shoot up to 1/8000s in HSS. The Godox Xpro-C will easily convert TTL settings to manual with the press of a button and has a large easy to read screen. I really like the slanted design and size of the display. If you shoot with a lot of strobes you will appreciate the 5 dedicated group buttons. The 11 customizable functions also make setting up the trigger just the way you like it a breeze. It works perfectly with all the Godox strobes I have tried it with including the on-camera style units. Since the Flashpoint branded strobes are all made by Godox, the Xpro-C worked perfectly with the other Flashpoint branded strobes I have as well.   

How does it drive?

Is the Godox AD200 and Xpro-C combination like shooting with a Profoto D2 or B10? No of course not. Is this setup perfectly serviceable and reliable? absolutely. I use this setup as my primary location setup and have had very few issues. It has never let me down on a shoot and I have yet to buy more batteries. If you are a machine gun shooter, then your mileage is going to vary. I would say I shoot at a normal pace and the AD200 has little issues recycling in time before the next shoot. My use scenario is low and normal key portraits and product photography. I don’t shoot sports, but I would say that the recycle time (the time the strobe needs to get ready for the next shot) would likely be a bit slow if you were looking to do images of dancers in motion. If you are looking for this type of recycle time the Profoto D2 is probably a better fit.  

I have shot with everything from cheap radio popper triggers cobbled with cord adapters onto 20-year-old speedotron strobes to current generation Profoto and Broncolor gear. The Godox AD200 and Xpro-C trigger setup is perfectly serviceable, and functions well. It isn’t going to recycle as fast as a Profoto B10, but then it doesn’t cost over $2000 either. If you are shooting fast, you might miss a shot here and there, but overall, it is a very nice rig to shoot with. I would recommend this setup to anyone.

Color

Here is another one of those things that other reviewers don’t mention. I am a stickler for color, and one reason to use a manufacturer like Profoto over Godox is consistency of light output. The Godox strobes (just like all other top rated cheap strobes) has a tendency to shift light color or power a bit over the course of your shoot. Some shots won’t be as bright, while others may be a bit off in terms of color (a bit). This effect isn’t a big deal and is something almost every budget strobe does. The effects of this color and brightness shift is easily countered by including a color checker in your first shot and using their software to adjust the color and brightness of all the shots in your session. This is not a bit deal for me. To date, I haven’t lost a single shot due to inconsistent light output. I use the AD200 in my professional work without problem. I only mention this point, because this is an honest review and if I were in your situation I would want to know. As a working professional, I don’t consider it any more a problem than I would using any other budget strobe.

Accessories

The Godox AD200 has been widely adopted in the photography community so there are a ton of options for accessories. Batteries, brackets gels, barn doors and a million other accessories are readily available for this little strobe. If you shoot weddings, this is a perfect strobe, because it is light and put out plenty of power to shoot in most situations. I especially like that there are a few different heads available now, such as the LED head which turns the AD200 into a continuous light for video and a round head making the light output look similar to the Profoto A1. This really is a great little versatile strobe.

Conclusion    

I reviewed the AD200 and Xpro trigger because this is the gear I use in my work. There are a million and one YouTube videos and written reviews for these units, but not all of them are totally honest about real-world experiences. The AD200 is a great alternative whether you are just getting started or if you are a seasoned pro looking for a reliable second or location kit. I love that I can throw this strobe into my camera bag with all my lenses and have a perfectly serviceable location shooting setup that is light and has enough power for portraits and plenty of battery life.

I love to hear from my readers! If you have questions about this or any review on this site, or If you have a product you would like us to review, drop me a message on Twitter or on the contact form here on the website. Have a great day!

Twitter: @EpicShit9

Links:

 

Get yours here: Flashpoint 10″ C stand

Whether you are just starting out in photography or you have been shooting for ages, a C stand is something every photographer should have in their studio arsenal. The C stand, or century stand has been around since the golden age of filmmaking. The hallmark of the C stand is their sturdy three footed base and their weight. The C stand is considered an industry standard for lighting support and there is no shortage of accessories available for them. This is likely one of the most versatile stands available, but are they worth the weight and trouble?

An Alternative

When you mention a C stand to anyone who is intimately familiar with studio lighting the brand Avenger will undoubtedly come up. The Avenger name is synonymous with C stands and was unchallenged until recently.  Avenger C stands retail for around 200 dollars, but competition has arrived in the form of the Flashpoint 10′ C (Century) Light Stand. Products with the Flashpoint name are made and sold by Adorama, a well-known camera store with a large online presence. Adorama also releases their own version of many Godox studio flashes under the Flashpoint name. You can search here on Epic Shit for reviews we have done featuring Flashpoint strobes and equipment. I consider the Flashpoint 10′ C (Century) Light Stand a good alternative to the higher priced Avenger stands and the Flashpoint version comes in at about half the price, 99 dollars.

Comparison

In my years in the photography industry, I have worked in many studios and came to trust the quality and sturdy nature of the Avenger C stands, so when Adorama introduced the Flashpoint 10′ C (Century) Light Stand I was a bit skeptical that a stand half the price of the beloved Avenger stands could compete. My strobes are not cheap and putting trust into a stand to keep my gear from crashing and burning on the floor is something I don’t take lightly. I ordered a Flashpoint 10′ C (Century) Light Stand and hoped for the best. The stand arrived quickly from Adorama and my first impression upon opening the box was that this stand is as heavy as the Avenger counterpart and seemed like it would support a small child without breaking a sweat. The Flashpoint 10′ C (Century) Light Stand weighs as much as an Avenger stand and came standard with many of the grip pieces that need to be purchased separately when investing in an Avenger stand.  The Flashpoint 10′ C (Century) Light Stand I ordered form Amazon (link above) came with the standard turtle base, and some very useful other goodies. The kit included a 40-inch grip arm, two GOBO heads (the heads that allow you to move the arm around or attach accessories to “go between” your light source and your subject) and even a baby pin. The baby pin is a piece of metal which inserts into the GOBO head and allows you to attach any strobe with a standard base. With this kit, if your strobe will fit on a regular light stand, it will fit on this C stand.

Compatibility

The most common question I get when I tell a fellow photographer about the Flashpoint 10′ C (Century) Light Stand is “will it work with my [insert strobe brand here]”? Part of the accessory kit that comes with the Flashpoint 10′ C (Century) Light Stand includes the Baby pin, which slides into the grip heads and will allow you to attach any standard strobe. I commonly use mine with a Godox S-type bracket and AD200 strobe as well as my Profoto D2, B1 and B10. I know that this stand will work with any standard Elinchrom or Paul C Buff strobe series as well. As long as the strobe will fit on a regular light stand, it will work perfectly well with the Flashpoint 10′ C (Century) Light Stand – except it will be a lot more sturdy.

Using the C Stand

If you have used other straight light stands, you may have noticed that once you get your strobe, and maybe a softbox or octabox on there they can feel a bit “tippy” or unstable. We are all using sandbags on the base of our light stands right? I mean, safety first right? We would not want our lights to fall on our clients. The C stand does not remove the necessity of sandbags for stability, but when you have a whole strobe and modifier rig on one it feels so much more stable than a standard straight light stand. The first thing you will notice about the C stands is that they are HEAVY, especially compared to a regular light stand. If you will use them in your home studio mostly, I recommend investing in the caster set which allows you to easily roll your whole rig all over effortlessly. I use my Flashpoint 10′ C (Century) Light Stand at home in my studio and on the road. Due to the weight, I never bring it with me on planes but if I am shooting local, I always throw it in the back of the car.  You will be surprised how sturdy the C stand is compared to other light supports. Every photographer I recommend them to never looks back and always ends up getting at least two. Even if you are using the Flashpoint 10′ C (Century) Light Stand as a straight light stand and taking off the grip arm, it will still be significantly more stable than a standard light support.

Tight!

The biggest difference between a standard light stand and a C stand is that the C stand likes to be tightened, I mean really tightened. I can’t tell you how many times I have been able to get my strobe in just the right position by just cranking down on the grip handle. If you don’t have a lot of hand strength this might be a tough item for you to operate, just like if you don’t feel comfortable lifting a heavier-than-it-looks stand with a strobe and modifier attached. Therefore, I suggest practicing with the stand before you take it on a shoot or shoot a client in your home studio.

Negatives

We have fully established that C stands in general are heavy, so that isn’t really a negative, it is more of a point that should be reinforced. The only negatives I have for the Flashpoint 10′ C (Century) Light Stand is that it is only available (as of this writing) in chrome. Many like the look of the black versions of C stands and the Flashpoint model is not available in other colors. The newer Avenger stands also come with an updated design for the turtle base, where one or more of the legs can be lifted to set the stand up on an uneven surface. This (for me) would only be a big benefit for shooting outdoors in rocky terrain or on stairs. These issues are certainly not a deal breaker by any means, but hey – I had to find something to ding them on, right? This stand works as well as any Avenger stand I have used so other than color this is as close as you can get to a perfect but cheaper than an Avenger option.

Do you need one?

The short answer is yes. The cost of the Flashpoint 10′ C (Century) Light Stand is very reasonable given how much you will probably use it. I have turned so many photographers on to C stands, and always love to hear from people who have been converted to the way of the C stand, please drop me a message and let me know about your experience! I would love to hear from you.

If you have a product you would like us to review, drop us a message on Twitter or on our contact form here on the website. Have a great day!

Twitter: @EpicShit9

 

Get yours here: Powerbeats3 Wireless Earphones

A few months ago, my generation 1 Powerbeats finally died, when I was not using them, I kept them in their travel case and they served me well for years. I wanted to stay with Powerbeats so I upgraded to the Powerbeats3 Wireless Earphones, I was happy because the new beats added the cool new Apple W1 Headphone Chip, which makes pairing as easy as turning on your beats next to a compatible device like an iPhone or iPad. I was excited about the reported 12 hours of listening time, and that this generation would be sweat resistant. Did they live up to my expectations? Read on…

Price

Beats are high definition Earphones and have a premium price attached just like all Apple products. (beats electronics are now owned by Apple in case you were unaware.) there are other earphones available for much cheaper but frankly, the sound quality of the beats outshines most budget earphones. I recently found the Powerbeats3 wireless earphones on sale at Amazon for $79.99. This lower price reflects the release of the newest version of Powerbeats which are in the 149-dollar range. The biggest difference between these and the newest version is an additional three hours of battery life. This wasn’t a big deal because of a cool new feature in the Powerbeats3 (more on this in a moment).

Pairing

I tested the Powerbeats3 Wireless Earphones with my iPhone X and iPad Pro, and found the pairing seamless. Both of my devices have the chips inside that talk with the new W1 chip in the Powerbeats3 and after switching on the Earphones they were immediately displayed on my iPhone. I clicked connect and they displayed the remaining battery and I was off to the races. My understanding is that the new Class 1 Bluetooth in the Powerbeats3 make pairing easier and more stable, and this was certainly my experience. To pair with another device, all you need to do is hold down the power button for a few seconds and they will be displayed on the screen of the nearest device. This made switching from my iPhone to my iPad quick and easy. I liked that you are no longer required to go into the settings and choose “forget this device” then repair each time. Being able to switch between devices easily is worth the upgrade price for me alone.

I ran with the iPhone in my pocket, sitting across the room and sitting in my backpack across the room and never lost connection or experienced static. In my previous generation earphones, I could not run with my iPhone in a backpack – I would always lose connection. Whether it is the new Bluetooth chip or the W1 chip, I have found that it all works better than previous generations hands down.

Performance

Beats headphones have a very specific sound, they are heavier on midrange and bass and if you like this sound profile you will not be disappointed with these earphones. I have been using these earphones for a few months now and have found them to sound great (like my old beats did) and have all the same features as my old beloved generation 1 earphones. These get loud and have plenty of bass. Be sure to follow the fit guide included so you choose the proper size ear tips. The better the fit in your ear canal, the better the bass response will be.  The included three ear tips will fit almost any size ear canal.

I was also impressed with the sound of the upgraded microphone when using the phone (I had a couple people use the earphones and talk to me on it so I could hear how it sounded). The addition of the new W1 chip also works perfectly with “hey siri”. When running on the treadmill you can say “hey siri” and then “read messages” after the beep to have your phone read your text messages while you run uninterrupted. On previous generations of the beats you had to hold the middle button on the control segment of the earphones to activate siri.

Battery Life

This is where the Powerbeats3 shine. It was always tough waiting for my first-generation earphones to charge, but with the new Fast Fuel technology, these earphones get an hour of use with just five minutes of charge time. I can’t tell you how many times I have forgotten to charge my earphones when I was headed to the gym! With the new Powerbeats3 I can charge my earphones on the way to the gym with a Powerbank (like you use to charge a phone). If I plug them in on the way to the gym, I always have more than enough juice to last my whole two-hour workout. This is such a convenient feature.

With the 12-hour battery life, I can easily get five two-hour workouts in on one full charge. I have found in my testing that they don’t lose a lot of power while they are in standby mode between uses. How would I rate the Powergbeats 3 battery life? Excellent.    

Negatives

If you are an audiophile, you probably won’t like the sound of these earphones, but this goes along with all beats. I personally like the sound of these earphones as well as the studio line of headphones. The only other negative I have is the carry case. The case that comes included with present generation beats is made of silicone and is not as sturdy as the cloth zippered ones that came with previous generations of the earphones. Not a big deal, and certainly not a deal breaker for me. I think the positives of these earphones way outweigh the mediocre carry case. I’m not going to include the price as a negative because if you are getting into these earphones you are already aware of the price.

Conclusion

Would I buy them again? Without hesitation. Would I recommend these to my best friend? Yes. I have been using the Powerbeats3 wireless earphones for a few months now and I love them. When my older generation earphones died, I tried a few other budget earphones but ended up running back to the beats brand like a moth to a flame.

Get yours here: Powerbeats3 Wireless Earphones