I am often asked about which hardware and software I use to create the MacMost videos and what I use in my regular everyday work. Here is a list of products that I use and recommend. Note that I’m using affiliate links here because my marketing friends would be mad at me if I didn’t. I’ll be adding more from time-to-time so check back. — Gary
Online Backup Services
The only reason I can think of to not use an online backup service is if you have a slow or pay-per-use Internet connection. Otherwise, using a service like Backblaze means that you are storing your Mac backup in a different location so you are protected from local disasters which would take both your Mac and your backup drive. I still backup with Time Machine, because it is easy and convenient when I need to restore a single file or use Migration Assistant. But Backblaze is surprisingly cheap ($70/year for unlimited data from one Mac) and it means I have a remote backup. You can also encrypt your backup with your own private key to make it secure.
Here’s software that I currently use, or have used in the past to create the content here at MacMost or as a developer. I use all of the built-in Mac software like Pages, Numbers, Keynote, iMovie, Photos and GarageBand. In addition, I use lots of software from both Adobe and Microsoft. Here are some other recommendations.
I’m often asked how I make my tutorials. The main app I use every day is ScreenFlow. I can record my screen, camera and mic at the same time, even my iPhone or iPad screen. They all show up as tracks in one timeline, synced. It even remembers key presses and clicks so I can display those. The editing tools are exactly what I need.
Graphics software: Need more image editing power than Preview, but don’t want to shell out the full cost of Photoshop? The Mac App Store has many good image editing apps. Currently I primarily use Pixelmator Pro for graphics word. I also like Acorn and Affinity Designer. If you want free, get Seashore.
Text Editors: For heavy lifting and serious coding I use BBEdit. But I also love the free text editor cotEditor for working with quick text files and everyday use.
I’ve been using 1Password as my password manager long before Apple introduced the native password functionality in Safari and iCloud. I still find it useful as I can store notes and other information in it, not just passwords. And it syncs across all of my devices. If you have a single non-Apple device it also comes in handy as you can’t easily access your stored iCloud passwords there. Even if you have all Apple devices, 1Password’s iOS app lets you get access to passwords that you can then use in other apps on your iOS devices.
The Mac Studio display is great and all, but if you are looking to get a good screen at a budget price, the LG 4K screens are nice. I’ve used this LG 32-Inch 4K Display and find it easier on old eyes than a 27-inch display. And it is less than $500. Before that I used a 27-inch LG 27UD58 model that isn’t available anymore, but a similar one is the other LG 27-inch 4K display for less than $300. These 4K displays are 3840×1920 which work well with Macs since you can set them at 1920×1080 as UHD screens, like Apple’s own “retina” displays, and it is a perfect match with 2×2 physical pixels equalling 1 virtual pixel. So images and text look amazing.
What’s the most import part of video? Audio. You’ve got to have good sound. Getting a good mic for your Mac is the important for most users. As a top-quality USB mic I recommend the Audio-Technica AT2020USB Plus Microphone. My friend David Lawrence does professional voiceover and audiobook recording work and he loves this mic too. For my tutorials, I use a Rode VideoMic Pro+ shotgun mic, connected to the camera (it isn’t USB).
Video Camera + Adapter
To shoot my videos, I use a Sony a6100 mirrorless camera connected directly to my Mac. It feeds in 4K video like a webcam. How do I do that? I use the Elgato Cam Link 4K. It takes the HDMI output from the camera and feeds it directly into the Mac. I can record into ScreenFlow, OBS, QuickTime or even present over Zoom using it.
If you are looking for a good webcam that plugs directly into your Mac, I like the Logitech Brio.
I recommend that everyone back up their Macs with Time Machine. For a desktop Mac, the cheapest and easiest way is to use a small external drive. The Seagate 5TB Portable Hard Drive is one I have used in the past. “Portable” means it only needs one cable as it gets power from USB.
I now use a 12TB drive for Time Machine, because I do a lot of video work and I want lots of space for a long history. I use the WD 12TB Elements Desktop Hard Drive HDD.