Audience Questions

Audience QuestionsHour 1

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch Patrick from Burlington, MA Comments

Patrick is 13 and he travels a lot, so he's looking to get a Windows tablet. Leo says that the Microsoft Surface Pro 3 is a full Windows experience on a tablet. The Dell Venue Pro is a great Windows based tablet as well. There's also Windows RT which is not the full version of Windows. Leo doesn't care for RT because it's a kind of technological dead end as it doesn't support most Windows apps. So much so that Microsoft's new CEO killed the 8" tablet weeks before it was going to launch. So Leo advises going with the Surface Pro 3 or the Dell Venue Pro.

If Patrick is willing to switch away from Windows, Leo says the iPad is a great option. Or he could go with the Google Nexus 7 for $250. Android is the low cost leader and offers great features.

If he's a gamer, the NVidia Shield gaming tablet is amazing. It's the fastest tablet out there thanks to a Tegra 1 processor, and it's only $300 for the 16GB Wi-Fi version. It also has front facing stereo speakers. Leo says this is probably the best tablet for Patrick.

Watch Bob from Warren, PA Comments

Bob cut the cable about a year ago and streams video with his Roku device. He's about to upgrade to a flatscreen and wants to know how to get rid of his old TV. Leo says to look for an eWaste roundup or recycling center in his community. They will be able to take it and dispose of it, recycling what they can. Erie County, PA has electronic disposal days, so he should look for that.

Watch Michael from Long Beach, CA Comments

Michael has a computer that drops off the network from time to time, causing him to restart either the computer or the router. Leo says it's probably not the router since other computers aren't effected. If a computer drops off the network, then there's probably an issue with Mike's ethernet card since it's wired in. He should first replace the ethernet cable. That's the cheap and easy fix.

If the problem persists, then it could be the network interface. Michael should go into the Network Control Panel, remove it and reboot. Windows will reacquire it and could fix the problem. He should also try updating the drivers, and make sure he's allowing the router to set the IP automatically.

The Chatroom says that if rebooting it will work, then try clicking Start > Run, then type IPConfig /release, then IPconfig /renew from the command line. That could clear out the IP and reconnect it. Also, he should try unplugging the modem and the router and starting over. If that doesn't work it may be a hardware issue and since it's on the motherboard, that would require a repair.

Watch Ann from Long Beach, CA Comments

Ann has a teenager and she wants a desktop. She wants to keep it down to around $400, though. Leo says that eliminates anything from Apple, as his first recommendation would have been an iMac. Ann should understand that at that price point, she won't be getting quality components.

Leo advises going to Dell. They have a good selection of budget desktops. But remember, she'll get what she pays for. She should consider refurbished computers, but she should only get them from the manufacturer. Leo found this Inspiron One 2020, which is an all-in-one PC that looks to be adequate for their needs, and is only $469.

Audience QuestionsHour 2

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch Steve from Chatsworth, CA Comments

Steve takes pictures of parts that are usually dark black, and when he lights them, he ends up with horrible shadows. How can he get rid of those shadows? Leo says what Steve needs is a seamless background and photo box. B&H Photo has a Polaroid Photo LIght Kit that has a box, lights, diffusers and is under $50. It's a great way to do just what Steve needs. He can also search for eBay Photo Kit.

Chris Marquardt chimes in to suggest that those kits will give him consistent lighting. Sunlight is the best option color-wise, though. It has all the colors in the spectrum and will bring out all the best features. But the problem is that it casts hard shadows. Using a diffuser that is slightly translucent will create a softer light that will blend out the shadows. But the photo kit is definitely the best way to go about this.

Watch Robin from La Jolla, CA Comments

Chris has heard about the "Black Phone," which claims to be the most secure and private phone on the market. Leo says that it claims to prevent spying on by not sharing any GPS data. But Leo says that it's safe only if he trusts the company. Leo says the bottom line is, if he lives his life online, it's not possible to be 100% private. The specs aren't state of the art either. It has 16GB storage and a low power processor. And who's to say that it isn't really a front for the feds trying to nab people with things to hide?

Watch Chad from Portland, OR Comments

Chad is a ballroom dancing choreographer and he wants to start recording his dances and archive them. He's trying to raise money for equipment on He's looking to get a camera and he doesn't know if he should get a Canon 5D Mk. III or if there's a more affordable option that will give him broadcast quality. Leo suggests that if it's a live performance, he should record with multiple cameras to get close ups, medium shots, and establishing shots. If he's able to do multiple takes, then he can use one camera and shoot it multiple times. It really comes down to what his budget is.

Leo also says the problem with the 5D is that it can only shoot about 20 minutes continuously. So a video camera like the Canon Vixia is ideal for this kind of thing. But he'll lose depth of field. Another cool idea is to get a GoPro camera for a point of view shot. Recording to flash will also help in transferring it to his computer. What about HDMI? Leo says he can record through HDMI, but he'd need a separate recorder. The recorder and one camera would be the same price as getting multiple cameras, so that would get expensive fast.

Some of the Micro 4/3rds cameras like the Panasonic GH4 would be less expensive, have interchangeable lenses, and might be better for video. But it's still $1,700, and has a smaller sensor, so Leo wouldn't recommend that one.

Caller Jeremy also says he's used three Canon T2is for under $2000 for Chad's dancing project. He won't be able to tell the difference between that and the 5D Mk. III unless he tries to blow it up to 2K. Another option is the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera.

Audience QuestionsHour 3

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch David from Irvine, CA Comments

David wants to replace his desktop and do all of his photo and video editing on a tablet. Leo says that the iPad with Lightroom is a great solution as long as he has Creative Cloud on the desktop. He can do some basic editing on the iPad, and then it'll sync the changes he makes to the desktop. That's what Leo does. If he wants to completely replace his desktop, then the Windows Surface Pro 3 is a great option. He'll want the i7 processor for it, though. And he should make sure to get the keyboard.

One thing he's going to give up when switching to a tablet PC is the stand alone GPU. But the native Intel graphics card will probably suffice. It may take a bit longer to render.

Watch Bruce from Manhattan Beach, CA Comments

Bruce has a computer that he puts into hibernation, but when he unplugs it, it shuts down. Leo says the there's a difference between hibernation and sleep mode. Sleep keeps the computer on, but loads everything into RAM and shuts down the hard drive and other things it doesn't need. It's in an extreme low power mode, but keeps refreshing the RAM so it'll come back on when woken up. Hiberation, on the other hand, completely shuts down the computer and then writes the RAM contents to the hard drive to access when it's turned back on.

Leo says he's not a fan of hibernating. It doesn't really work all that well. Some computers and tablets simply can't wake up from it. He recommends allowing it to go to sleep if he's going to get back to it within 24 hours. Then shut it down if he won't be using for longer than that.

Watch Ed from Crossville, TN Comments

Ted is looking to replace his hard drive in his MacBook Pro. Leo has done that with all his laptops, replacing them with SSDs. It can be a challenge to replace the hard drive, depending on what model MacBook Pro he has. The modern MacBook Pros are a bit easier, although the screws are tiny and of difference lengths. Once he has opened it up, replacing the hard drive is pretty straight forward.

Leo gets all his Mac Parts at Other World Computing, at Leo recommends an SSD. What about the Western Digital hard drives and the color categories? Leo says a Green drive would be a good choice because they're very low power, and MacSales has those. It's important to get the appropriate drive for his MacBook. That's why Leo recommends going to Other World Computing, which will guide him to the correct drive.

Watch George from California Comments

George is trying to decide between the LG G3 and the Samsung Galaxy Note 3. Leo says that people who have used both say that ironically, the Note 3 has a sharper, more colorful screen because it's OLED. The Note 4 should be coming any time now, so if he can wait a month, he could get the latest one.

One thing that Leo doesn't like about the Samsung line is that they "gunk" up the interface with junk software. He prefers the pure Google experience and the LG G3 is closer than that. The camera is better on the Galaxy Note and S5, however, but the LG has the laser focusing. If he's going to get something now, Leo suggests getting the LG G3 because it's the newest of the two.

Watch Andrea from Lakewood, CA Comments

Andrea is going to take pictures of the "super moon." Leo says tonight is a great night to not only shoot the moon, but also the Pleiades meteor shower. She'll need a longer lens than she thinks - like 300mm, and a tripod to keep it completely stable. She'll be doing time exposures. The key is, the moon is very bright, so she'll stop it down and lengthen the exposures. She'll want to expose for the moon itself, and she'll want to set it manually.

She should use ISO 200 and the smallest aperture, F11 (called the "Looney 11 rule") 1/125th. Try a test shot, then compensate for shutter speed. Most cameras will also let you use exposure compensation to add a stop or two when you can't any other way. The key is to play around with it. Chris Marquardt gave some suggestions on shooting the moon here.

Watch Alex from Cucamonga, CA Comments

Alex is thinking about buying the Amazon Fire Phone. Leo says that while he doesn't recommend it, it does have some interesting features including a MayDay feature, and 4 cameras that can track your face and keep the screen at the optimal setting. But all in all, it's more of a gimmick than a legitimately solid phone.