Photography News 99 - Web

First test

PRICE: £149


Rode NTH-100 One of the world’s leading microphone brands has entered the headphone market – in impressive style

SPECS ›  Price £149

›  In the box 1x 2.4m headphone cable, 1x 3.5mm to 1/4in adapter, 1x storage pouch, 1x colour ID set ›  Operating principle Dynamic ›  Transducer size 40mm ›  Frequency response 5Hz-35kHz ›  Impedance 32Ω ›  Connection type Dual TRRS cable attachments ›  Dimensions (lxwxh) 80x190x188mm ›  Weight 350g ›  Contact

HEADPHONES VARY HUGELY in price. Cheap pairs so often provide ghastly sound and are very uncomfortable, while the top-end models are noise-cancelling, wireless, a great listen and so comfortable, you don’t know you are wearing them. It’s a fiercely competitive sector. A great number of products are available in all sorts of styles,

and with video an integral part of the market, the need for good headphones is more pressing than ever before. Rode microphones are hugely respected, and it has now branched into headphones with the wired, over-the-ear NTH-100, nicely priced at £149. It features a FitLok locking system that ensures perfect fit, time after time. Ear-shaped Alcantara- covered earcups offer comfort and feature CoolTech gel that stops your ears from overheating. Sound comes from custom matched 40mm drivers and the usefully long cable can be plugged into either earpiece. I tested the NTH-100 in order to check recordings from Olympus and Tascam audio recorders, monitor sound from the Sony A1 and Canon EOS R5 and, finally, enjoy music on my iPod.

All round audio quality was excellent. With music, the listening experience was enjoyable. There was a lovely tonal

balance – crisp treble and solid bass, nothing sounded strained or dull. For voices from the audio recorders and cameras, the sound was clear – perfect for monitoring audio during live recordings. Comfort is a very personal thing. I have a big head (I’m not boasting!), although I think my ears are average, and these phones fit perfectly. As part of the test, I spent an afternoon with the phones listening to music and didn’t find them fatiguing in terms of sound quality or comfort. The adjustable headband has enough expansion, while being able to lock the earpieces in position is a handy feature. WC

Verdict Rode NTH-100 headphones are lovely and a decent buy at £149. Whether for work or enjoying some tunes, highly recommended. PROS Great value, good sound quality, secure fit, comfortable, user-replaceable cushions and cable, output sockets on both sides CONS None

DOWHATYOUWANT Sold as low-impedance, high-sensitivity headphones, NTH-100s can be used with a wide range of kit

PRICE: £46.95


Manfrotto Professional USB 3.2 CFexpressType B reader With high-megapixel cameras shooting at blazingly rapid speeds and 4-8K video, the need for fast memory cards and readers is greater than ever

The latest high-end Canons and Nikons use CFexpress Type B, while the Sony A1 uses CFexpress Type A – but these models have the option of accepting SD cards, too. The fastest SD cards currently available are 2000x, running (in theory) at 300MB/s, and microSDs at half that speed. So, while you get decent performance from these cameras, you’re not exploiting their full potential. You might also have to manage the buffer when shooting at fast burst rates. There is the workflow to consider. When shooting lots of pictures and high-definition video, you are dealing with large amounts of data. To enjoy the high performance your kit is capable of, CFexpress cards are a must. However, they are expensive, and with current microchip issues and the relatively

Type B card, which costs £189.95 and features 1540MB/s write and 1730MB/s read time. The unit feels robust and has four rubber feet and a simple lid. Rubber feet are often the first things to go (unless it is just sitting on the desk) in normal use, but during the month I carried the card reader – which can be used as a holder – in my work bag, the feet stayed put. There’s one port, a USB-C 3.2, and two cables come supplied – a USB-C to USB-C and USB-A to USB-C. I shot 17.46GB of images on the card and timed how long it took to transfer all that data to and from an Apple M1 Mac Mini. The transfer to the computer took 30 seconds, working out at a 582MB/s read time. The return journey lasted 115 seconds – so that is a total write time of 158MB/s. WC

SPECS ›  Price £46.95 ›  In the box Card reader, USB-A to USB-C cable, USB-C to USB-C cable ›  Interface USB 3.2 Type-C Interface (10Gbps) ›  Weight 220g ›  Contact many formats have fallen by the wayside – explaining why I have a drawerful of defunct cards. I really need a clear-out! DIGITAL CAMERAS HAVE come an incredibly long way and, of course, as megapixel count has grown and shooting rates accelerated, storage cards have had to keep pace. Hence,

Verdict This Manfrotto reader is a solid piece of kit that proved totally reliable. If you are shooting this card format and want one of the best CFexpress Type B readers around, this is the one, and it’s excellent value at £46.95. PROS Sleek design, works effectively, runs relatively cool, handy as a card holder CONS Not XQD compatible, accepts CFexpress only

SOLID UNIT The Manfrotto reader is durable and compact

small market they inhabit, prices are unlikely to fall any time soon. CFexpress card readers aren’t cheap either, but as the format gains traction, these products are more likely to drop in price. Manfrotto added CFexpress Type B cards to its huge product range last year, and has now introduced a reader. The USB 3.2 CFexpress Type B is available for £46.95. It is tested here with a Manfrotto CFexpress

40 Photography News | Issue 99

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