Camera bags and carriers come in every shape and style, from highly functional rollers to bags that make a fashion statement whenever you step out the door with your gear. Among the new products appearing this year are those that will fit every photographer for every photo excursion. There are backpacks for day hikers to trekkers, and rollers for making the transition from plane to city streets. Camera carrier makers are always improving product to keep up with the changing needs of photographers and their gear.
Traveling by plane these days is certainly no joy, a bad situation made worse for photographers who never check their precious gear. Traveling on regional jets, and especially international flights, means not being able to lug large backpacks or roller cases filled with gear on board. And with flights so jammed airlines have gotten even stricter about carry-ons, despite the fact that their policies now make everyone want to carry on rather than shell out the extra bucks. It’s getting pretty nasty out there.
One Bag Version 2
The stylish, lightweight One Bag is crafted from ultrahigh-quality wetsuit-grade neoprene. It can easily accommodate a 15” to 17” laptop, photography equipment, and assorted electronics. It features an ultra-soft lining and four pockets, and the Photo Insert allows you to change the laptop bag into a camera gear bag with three pockets for lenses and other gadgets. The designer neoprene strap features leather bindings and stretches to conform to your body. The swappable designer covers are sold separately and allow you to transform your bag for any occasion. Version 2 is 1” wider than the original and offers more accessory pockets. It comes in Black Leather, Midnight Web, and Smokey Damask covers. The suggested price is $128.
Apr 26, 2012
Published: Mar 01, 2012
It was with considerable dismay that I discovered, after my story on gimbal mounts appeared in a recent issue of Shutterbug, that Really Right Stuff (RRS) manufactures a gimbal mount as well; in fact, some might argue it is one of the best conventional gimbal mounts currently being offered among top-tier gimbal mount manufacturers.
Built primarily of CNC-machined black anodized aircraft-grade aluminum stock, RRS’s gimbal is one tough mount. And it’s also beautiful, to boot. Manufacturing quality is as good as it gets—and the postproduction finish and fit are impeccable. The custom knurled pitch lock knob for the articulated arm is solid aluminum. The custom pan knob is solid aluminum as well, but additionally has a rubber grip to facilitate rotation. Importantly, both knobs are located on the same side of the gimbal, thus facilitating access and allowing the user to release or tighten both with just one hand.
Bay Photo Lab’s BayBooks are high-quality digital press printed photo books for any occasion. They are available in various sizes and in square, horizontal, or vertical formats with hard or soft full-wrap photo covers. There are 48 cover material choices and hundreds of customizable page templates to help you easily build a one-of-a-kind album.
Free ArcSoft Perfect365 Software For One-Touch Photo Makeovers
Perfect365 is a free photo makeover software application that lets you easily adjust up to 21 facial features on pictures and portraits with the touch of a button. The patented imaging and facial recognition technology offers fast cleanup with accurate, natural results. Style makeup templates are included for various looks with the ability to fine-tune according to your preference. Perfect365 is available as a free download for Windows. An enhanced version for Windows that allows you to save and print high-resolution images is available for $29.99. Versions for the iPhone and iPad are currently available and the Facebook and Mac versions will be available soon.
Feb 10, 2012
Published: Jan 01, 2012
I’ve been a dedicated gimbal head user for a long time. If you shoot with seriously long lenses, no other head comes close to offering a gimbal’s stability, articulation, and flexibility. Forget ball heads and anything else designed to attach long telephotos to a tripod. If you’re a big lens user and you photograph things that move, a gimbal is the only way to go.
My impression of a tabletop tripod was probably like yours—a squat, three-legged support that collapsed down to handily fit inside a camera bag. After unpacking the 17 camera supports that arrived, I had to modify my definition of the genre to include designs that mushroom to roughly 2 feet when fully open—and some with considerable girth and heft. That also meant extending my thinking to models with a center column and multiple leg sections, which might be more correctly termed “mini” tripods. Either way, in contrast to a standard tripod at its full height, the tripods under discussion, when fully open, have a small footprint and should effortlessly fit in tight spaces.
Nik Software Color Efex Pro 4
This is the latest version of Nik’s popular digital photographic filters for image retouching and enhancement. Color Efex Pro 4 is easy to use and offers a new generation of technologies and features that help you to create stunning effects. It has stackable filter combinations, visual presets, filter recipes, and new filters such as Detail Extractor, Vintage Film Efex, and Image Borders. The software also includes a History Browser, improvements to imaging algorithms, greater performance, and enhanced usability. The Color Efex Pro 4 Complete Edition contains 54 filters for a suggested retail price of $199.95. The Select Edition contains 25 filters for $99.95. You may also upgrade to the Complete Edition from any edition of Versions 2.0 or 3.0 for $99.95.
There’s a new trend in camera carriers that appeals to photographers who want to look chic while still maintaining the core functionality of the bag. In terms of style they are at polar opposites to rugged backpacks or gear-laden roller bags, yet even the most stylish camera bag has to carry gear in a practical and organized fashion. That includes being built to withstand the rigors of being jostled or bumped in crowds, and being constructed to protect against spilled drinks, or rain at the very least. At the same time, the ideal bag should be built to carry everything we may need on a shoot, and then some.
Just as interchangeable lenses on an SLR each have a specific purpose or meet a certain need, the same applies to tripod heads. Even if a head comes as part of the tripod kit, you soon realize you may need to replace or supplement it. In this buyer’s guide to tripod heads we’ll look at some of the factors to consider, including budget, load considerations, applications, and matching heads to “sticks.” We’ll also look at the various types of heads available and how each can be used for very specific shooting needs.
Jan 20, 2012
Published: Dec 01, 2011
Like most of you, I’ve been frustrated by the amount of dust that accumulates not only on my sensors but also on my cameras and lenses in general. It’s an ongoing battle. Take photos, clean cameras; take photos, clean cameras.
I often get questions about how to store digital image files safely and securely. Although there have been a lot of options, all of them have involved compromises. Recently, however, one of our readers told me about Millenniata.com, and I immediately looked into this new American company. I found that Millenniata has a new DVD disc technology that provides “more than” archival life expectancy, as established by the US Department of Defense’s Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division at China Lake, California. Their report can be downloaded as a PDF file from the Millenniata website.
Nikon 1 J1 Camera
The new Nikon 1 J1 is a compact system camera that features a 10.1-megapixel CX-format high-speed AF CMOS sensor. It has a dual core image processor and an advanced hybrid autofocus system that provides the user with fast AF with 73 focus points. The J1 can also capture 10 frames per second (fps) with a full resolution continuous shooting speed of 60 fps (AF locked). The camera comes with Short Movie Creator software and My Picturetown and features a Smart Photo Selector mode that allows the camera to select the best photo from a series of images based on a number of factors, including exposure, composition, focus, and facial recognition. The color choices with matching kit lenses include white, pink, red, silver, and black. The suggested retail price for the J1 10-30mm lens kit is $649.95.
When I say filter, your first thought may be a Photoshop plug-in. That’s natural, especially if your first good camera was digital. But folks who cut their photographic teeth shooting 35mm film know all about the light-bending qualities of glass screw-in filters. Physical filters were once the best (and sometimes only) way to get certain types of creative shots. Although still as effective as ever, they’ve fallen from favor for several reasons.