Accessory

MindShift PhotoCross 13: A great sling-style bag for working in the field with a camera or drone

MindShift Gear PhotoCross 13 Sling Bag (Orange Ember)Photo backpacks are great for carrying gear, but they have one major drawback. They’re inconvenient to work with in situations where you don’t have the time or space to set them down. For that reason, I’ve always made sure that some type of sling or messenger bag was part of my arsenal. So I was excited to learn about the upcoming . I was fortunate enough to get an early version to take with me on my Alaska bear photo safaris and put it through its paces…

Datacolor offers slick new Plus package for the Spyder5

SpyderLENSCALI hope most of you are already using a hardware-calibrated, color-managed, workflow for your photography. As you know, my favorite solution is the from Datacolor. Now Datacolor is offering a slick upgrade for users that includes some really impressive features. It’s new “+” Pack adds 1-click calibration, automatic room-light-level brightness switching, and improved profile management. The Elite version of “+” also adds support for soft proofing, and an improved version of StudioMatch.

Magellan eXplorist TRX7: The ultimate off-road GPS and navigation system

Every serious nature photographer spends at least some time "off the beaten path." In particular, back roads, dirt roads and trails are often the only way to get where you need to go. Unfortunately, the otherwise-amazing navigation tools like Google Maps that we rely on for street driving are nearly useless once we venture beyond the main road grid. Magellan aims to take up the slack with a purpose-built off-road navigation system, the . I’ve been fortunate enough to give one of the first units a full field test…

Think Tank Retrospective Leather 30 field tested: An already great shoulder bag goes upscale

Think Tank Photo Retrospective 30 Shoulder Bag (Gray with Brown Leather)One of the challenges of travel photography, and photo journalism, is carrying all the equipment you need without being too conspicuous or too uncomfortable. Fortunately, unlike most wildlife photography, you don’t need super-huge telephoto lenses, so a shoulder bag becomes an option. I’ve used many of them over the years, but recently have really enjoyed working with Think Tank’s Retrospective series. It combines a well-thought-out design with enough style that I don’t feel like I’m lugging a classic black photo bag. So when it was time for my annual photo tour to Southeast Asia I started out by thinking I’d once again take my with me (you can read our ). However, I had more gear to lug around this time (a , Nikon IR-Converted DSLR, Tokina 24-70 f/2.8 lens, , Nikon SB-900 flash, Sigma 12-24mm lens, Microsoft Surface Pro 3, filters, FLIR ONE, , and lots of “little stuff.” So I needed something a little larger.

3 Legged Thing travel tripod: As well-designed as they come

3 Legged Thing X2.1 Eddie Evolution 2 CF Tripod System w/AirHed 2 Ball Head (Black)UK tripod maker 3 Legged Thing (3LT) has been around for awhile, but hasn’t attracted as much attention as some of its high-end competitors like Gitzo. I’ve been using for a few weeks, including on safari in Africa, and have been very impressed. Not only is the build quality as good or better than any Gitzo I have used, but the feature set is remarkable. A single device can be a tripod or monopod, and the reversible center column make the Eddie very versatile. As with most travel tripods, the small carrying size relies on having a head that can fit between the legs of the tripod when they are folded back on themselves. My Eddie came with 3LT’s own AirHed 2 in a bundle. The head was as solid and usable as you can expect from such a small unit…

A magic trick you can hold in your hand: Celluon PicoPro portable projector field-tested

Every once in a while I review a product that seems like a magic trick. Right now that is the Celluon Pico Pro projector.

TYLT Vu Car: Finally, a wireless car charger that really works

As a photographer that travels a lot and relies on my smartphone for directions, music, email, and photo-related applications, it is important for me to be able to securely mount my phone in cars and trucks – both mine and rental vehicles. Just as important, it needs to charge effectively on long trips. Ideally, the charging would be wireless, which really helps with convenience and cable management. I’ve tried quite a number of car mounts – both wired and wireless – without finding one that met all my needs. Until I tried the new TYLT Vu Car (wireless)…

iStabilizer monopod: More than just a 'selfie-stick'

2014-10-29 11.07.40_scaled_There is no doubt that the biggest market for the novel iStabilizer "monopod" for your smartphone (or small point and shoot) will be taking better selfies. Getting the camera away from your face, and not having to hold your arm at an awkward angle is a big win. But as a photographer, I was also intrigued by the possibilities it offered for getting shots from unusual perspectives….

Tylt Tunz: Handy portable speaker & charger for photographers

Like many photographers, I rely on my portable speaker when I travel. When giving slideshows, it adds punch to the soundtrack compared to my laptop – and I can place it someplace more central instead of where I happen to be standing. When I’m in the field, there are times when we also use bird calls (only on private ranches, in a very limited way, with non-threatened species!), and having a remote speaker is a must. Recently, I’ve been working with a cool, new one from Tylt – the – that also combines a battery pack you can use to recharge your phone…

ThinkTank Retrospective 7: Finally a field-worthy modern camera bag that doesn't look like a camera bag

Think Tank Photo Retrospective 7 Shoulder Bag (Pinestone)Happy 2014, everyone. I wanted to start the year off right, so for our first review I’m covering a really slick camera bag I had the pleasure of using for nearly a month on my Southeast Asia photo tour. (If you’re in Las Vegas, you’ll see me with it at CES next week too). It is the new , although many of the points in the review apply equally well to its siblings like the , or the

Weye-Feye: Performance wireless camera control at a reasonable price

As a Nikon shooter, I’ve been both tantalized and frustrated for nearly a decade with Nikon’s on-again, off-again approach to WiFi connectivity for its DSLRs. The original WT-1A was an expensive boat anchor in practice. Four generations later, the is a huge improvement, but it is $570 and only works with the $6K . Those with lesser cameras like the or benefit from the incredibly small, inexpensive . It’s fun for remote shooting, but is crippled – deliberately or just because of its limited hardware – in not offering remote focusing or camera setting adjustments. Fortunately there is now a middle ground…

Kingston MobileLite: The Ultimate mobile card reader

Tablets are a nearly perfect companion for photographers on the go. They’re a great way to view photos and handle other tasks. Unfortunately the simple act of getting images from your camera to your tablet (or phone) can be a serious hassle. Best case your tablet vendor has a cable-based proprietary system. Worst case, you can’t. Fortunately Kingston has come up with a very clever product that does three things very well – wireless image transfer, additional mobile storage, and emergency battery charging…

Want to cram more gear into your carry-on? Jaktogo pushes beyond the photo vest

Jaktogo foto 1Without question, traveling with photo gear only gets harder. Airlines continue to winnow down the amount of carry-on they allow, and checked bags are subject to loss and breakage. As many of my readers (and safari participants) know, I’m a big fan of my Scottevest, that allows me to stash a tablet, phone, headphones, hat, glasses, lunch, and maybe a rainshell conveniently. But it doesn’t really help with the bulk storage of laptop, camera, lenses, flashes, and chargers. Photo vests are an alternative used by many of us, but now a new set of products pushes the limit even further…

ThinkTank Glass Limo torture test: Compact photo safari backpack delivers in African Adventure

There are plenty of good options for large photo backpacks for use on safari, with my favorite for trips requiring international connections being the ThinkTank Airport Takeoff combo roller/backpack. Unfortunately, unless you’re on a dedicated photo safari with extra luggage allowance and lightly loaded vehicles (like the ones we offer through ), a full-size backpack may be more than you’re allowed to bring (or perhaps more than you want to carry). It is also notoriously hard to work two to a row (like you’ll find on most typical safaris) with full-sized bags.

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