Photo Gear
Covering The Photo Beat
Power Packs, Tripods Heads, Equipment Cases And More

Variable Voltage Compact Power Pack & Sophisticated New Qflash
The Quantum Turbo Compact rechargeable power pack automatically adjusts the output voltage to suit different cameras or flash units by simply changing the connecting cable. It uses long-lived Nickel Metal Hydride (Ni-MH) technology for concentrated power, quick flash recycling, and no memory. A "fuel gauge" displays the remaining capacity and also displays the charging process, which only requires 1.5 hours. It's the smallest Turbo yet, weighing just 16 oz, however, it packs nearly the same power as the standard Turbo unit. Self-contained threads screw into the tripod socket on the base of a camera and the unit accepts a standard thread when used on a tripod. It's also suitable for use with various digital cameras and both shoe- and handle-mount flashes. The MSRP is $512.

Quantum has also introduced the Qflash T4d, which is dedicated for use with the latest film and digital camera systems. Smaller and lighter than its predecessors, it offers power that exceeds that of typical shoe- or handle-mount flash units so it's suitable for greater distances, larger groups, and more bounce power. A new slanted design gives a proper balance for bracket mounting. The flash head swivels and bounces, has twin accessory sockets for cables linking multiple Qflash units, and has a modeling light feature. The output is 150 ws with an ISO 100 GN of 160 in feet. The 6x3x3" unit weighs 23 oz and has an MSRP of $775. Contact: Quantum Instruments, Inc., 1075 Stewart Ave., Garden City, NY 11530; (516) 222-6000; fax: (516) 222-0569;

Lightweight, Bright, Versatile Flashlight
New from Pelican Products is the VB3 LED addition to the VersaBrite family of high-impact, portable, all-purpose flashlights. It's rated to shine for more than 100 hours burn time with an intense 5.5 lumens and is approved for hazardous location usage. A swivel head can pivot 180Þ to aim the light exactly where needed. It's designed for hands-free use since it has a built-in,
spring-loaded clip allowing it to be attached to a variety of surfaces including camera straps, uniforms, webbing belts, and equipment vests. Lightweight and durable, it is offered in black, yellow, orange, translucent red, and translucent blue. It has an MSRP of $20. Contact: Pelican Products, Inc., 23215 Early Ave., Torrance, CA 90505; (800) 473-5422 (outside CA), (310) 326-4700 (within CA); fax: (310) 326-3311;

Crumpler Now Offers Backpacks
Long known for its practical and colorful line of camera bags, Crumpler now offers a selection of backpacks. There are three series: one for laptop computers only, another half laptop and half computer, and a third for photo gear. The MSRP for the photo versions range from $180-$220. The backpacks are designed to keep photo gear well-protected and secure while providing an attractive appearance and comfortable fit. Made of ultra-tough, water-resistant, Chicken Tex ripstop nylon, they feature shoulder straps with a chest strap to assist stabilizing heavy loads. Contact: Jobo Fototechnic, Inc. (Crumpler bags), PO Box 3721, Ann Arbor, MI 48106; (734) 677-6989; fax: (734) 677-6963;

Balanced Fluid Tripod Head For Super Tele Lenses
New from THK Photo Products is the Slik Tele Balance 6 fluid head with
Cam-Balancer system. It's intended for photographers who work with bulky and heavy telephoto lenses and who must quickly and easily follow the action for subjects such as sports or nature. It is said to be a better option than a
gimbaled-style tripod head, which has been popular for this application. It has an infinitely adjustable Cam-Balancer system said to perfectly counterbalance any camera/lens weighing from 6.6-17.6 lbs so that it will stay at any angle without having to hold it in position or lock the head movement. It has an up/down tilt angle of + 75/- 75Þ and can pan a full 360Þ. It has an MSRP of $2295. Contact: THK Photo Products, Inc., 2360 Mira Mar Ave., Long Beach, CA 90815; (800) 421-1141, (562) 494-9575; fax: (562) 494-3375;

Two New TAP Dance Folders
Taprell Loomis recently introduced two new dance folders, "Rose," for prom night, which features one rose against black that opens to a matching black border photo area. It's top loading and offered in both 5x7 and 8x10 sizes. Also new is "Nightfall," which uses simple ebony-colored, linen-finish stock with embossed detailing for prom memento photos. This model is side loading and is available in 5x7 and 8x10 sizes. The MSRP in quantities of 100 folders are: Rose--5x7 $36.25, 8x10 $68.75; Nightfall--5x7 $65.85, 8x10 $130.10. They can be seen in the new TAP Catalog which is available by contacting Taprell Loomis, 2160 Superior Ave., Cleveland, OH 44114; (800) 827-5679; fax: (800) 276-2572;

Stackable Hard-Side Equipment Case
Porter Case offers the new Stowaway 20-20 ATA 300-style stackable equipment case. Designed as part of a travel system, this new boxy case will mate with all models of carryon hard-side Porter Cases with a cart. That is, male channels on the bottom of this new case mate with those in the lid of other Porter Cases. The new case has female channels on the top, which allows other Stowaway cases to be stacked and locked onto the top. Measuring 20x20x121/2" deep, it's constructed of polyethylene plastic with aluminum lid stays and the interior is filled with pluck foam for customizing the fit of any size and type of equipment. The outside has ATA-style bumped out corners for protecting the four heavy-duty twist latches, steel hinges, and padded, spring-loaded side loop handles. It's intended for protecting `valuable equipment that has to be transported by a variety of different carriers. Contact: Porter Case, Inc., 3718 W Western Ave., South Bend, IN 46619; (800) 356-8348;
fax: (574) 289-2747;

Online Photo Service Expands Features
Shutterfly online photo service is expanding the capabilities of their "Pro Gallery" service first introduced a year ago. A new sales reporting tool enables partners to track revenue in real time, view historic data up to one year, and identify which images are best sellers. In addition, five unique styles of watermarking enable partners to select their choice of watermarking to be applied to each proof. Another layer of security disables "right clicking" on an image to save it. Shutterfly caters to amateur and professional digital and film photographers by offering services such as: film-quality prints, secure online album storage, and free picture sharing. Customers can create greeting cards, invitations, note cards, calendars, and mini photo albums all of which can be mailed anywhere in the world. For further information, or to set up an account, visit

XtremePower Mobile Energy Packs
The MAC Group has announced the exclusive distribution in the U.S.A. of a new product line of versatile mobile energy battery packs called XtremePower. These energy packs are lightweight, long-lasting, versatile, rechargeable battery power for your camera, flash, laptop, and other mobile devices. According to the company, XtremePower allows you to power more devices in more places longer than with any other mobile power solution. These new energy packs are available in two models: The XtremePower 10 (XP10) powers laptops, portable printers, handheld PCs, PDAs, portable storage devices, cell phones, and portable game systems. The XtremePower 20 (XP20) is designed for digital photographers, as it powers all the same electronic devices that XtremePower 10 does plus many popular digital cameras and portable flash units. All XtremePower energy packs come packaged with a worldwide multi-voltage AC adapter. For more information, visit

To submit information for Photo Gear please contact Robert E. Mayer by e-mail at: or regular mail at: Shutterbug Magazine, 1419 Chaffee Dr., Suite #1, Titusville, FL 32780.