Peak Design Sling Bag – Is This The Mirrorless Bag Of Your Dreams?

It’s like the Holy Grail: what is the perfect camera bag?
Don’t want to shock you, but there is no one bag that is best for all circumstances.
But you already know that. Look at all of your camera bags.I kinda feel it’ like shoes. The right bag for the right job.
Peak Design is a relatively new player in this space, and I have to say, they have come on strong.

As a city dweller, a great walk-around camera bag is key for the street.
Easy access to the gear, enough pockets for extras, and some extra space for what you may pick up while you’re out and about.
I had the pleasure recently of checking out a pre-production unit of the Peak Design Sling bag.
This bag exceeded expectations, on may levels.
Once i adjusted all of the straps to my personal preference, side slung with hands ready to grab the camera, I venture out with a set up of a Fuji X camera, a couple of lenses, plenty of camera batts (damn you, mirrorless batt suckers!) phone battery, cable, pack of gum, and a bag of almonds. yes, sustenance.
So first of all, we have the very cool dividers with the pop-out ledges for easy adjustment
Here is the zipped pocket with sewn in dividers, perfect for your spare batteries.

If you want to add a bit of weight or work power, add a tablet into the back located, padded thin pocket.
The entire design has structure, an it’s a low-key structure. Not too sticky-outy (tech term). Just right.
There is an outside strap so you can add it to your luggage or wheeled gear case’s handle.

Solid connections for the straps and secret pockets to slip the extra webbing from the strap.
As I said, this was pre-production unit and the final bag will have some wider webbing, I’m told.
Plus the top lid will be more finished, in regards to stitching.
Like other bag in the line this was very well-built. A far as the other new designs, I can’t comment.

I will tell you this: I was kinda sad that i had to send back this pre-production.
It fit the gear right, had access to the camera when I needed to get a shot off fast, there was room for accessories, solid construction.
What else do i wish for on this?
A side net bag to hold a water bottle. My fave bags all incorporate this, and I think they’d do well to add it on. maybe Sling 2.0.
If you are going to PhotoPlus Expo, check it out.
Or see your local brick and mortar store, and try one on for size.

Yes, it was on Kickstarter AND Indiegogo: looking for $500,000, funded for almost $7,000,000 on each.

Lexar HUB SSD – The Tower is Now Complete!

One of my workflow mainstays, is the Lexar HUB. You know, the Thunderbolt cabled, modular tower, that allows you to stack up to 4 varying media card modules (SDHC™/SDXC™ UHS I and UHS-II, CompactFlash® UDMA 7, XQD™ 2.0, CFast™ and CFast 2.0, and microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-I and UHS-II, plus a module for USB, so you can give a client a thumbdrive, fast. Or carry any module sans tower, to edit on the road, when you can’t spread out at all.
Whew! That about covers it, right?
Well, I just added a new module, that completes the system for me.

imageIt’s the portable SSD, which fits into one of the module docks.
Here is a shot of my working HUB, and the module is the one on the top:

I think it’s a great, simple, offload and storage system for the cards I’m reading. With USB 3.0, with 450MB/s transfer speed, and 245MB/s write speed, this
is plenty fast to also access my video clips for editing.

Seriously, with this added module, my HUB is complete, with one less plug-in connection.
To be sure, when I’m on the road, (2017 is gonna be busy) having a compact workflow gear line-up is critical for speed, packing, and extra sleep.
Yeah, I said it.
When I come back to hotel late, and can just pop my cards in the tower, ingest em’ concurrently to PhotoMechanic, and get to work, I get more sleep.Thunderbolt is also a big part of this set-up.
Now remember, I’m also backing everything up simultaneously to a portable RAID.
This let’s me keep my laptop HD for apps, and such, and not clog it up with content.
Available in 512GB for about $140. or 256GB for close to $90.

BlackRapid Update : Lighter, Stronger, Quieter

The new standard in camera straps is the BlackRapid line. I’m a convert for sure, and now depend on them.
The single, or double, are great tools, but my new favorite became the Yeti.
Basically 2 straps coming off of one harness. I just keep working toward getting lighter.
So when they announced that there were new items coming, I wondered what could it be?
Well, the answer is: lighter and more breathable.
Here are some side by side comparisons.
The entire new Breathe line incorporates a lot of the same improvements.

First of all, the new Yeti (now called Hybrid) is thinner, and the familiar orange “R” have been replaced by a white one.
The harness is not quite as wide, and has the same reliable clips. Yes, there is an additional underarm strap for stability, but I’v never used it.
The gripping surface on the underside, now runs along the entire length of the harness:

And here is a detail of the surface. More breathable, and better gripping.

Plus, the connectors have been improved. Larger, knurled, brass tightening columns. Thicker, top rotating bits, on the hasp. And slightly larger and sound dampened connectors.
That is a huge improvement. Not entirely brand new for them, but now included in the package. And the hasp locks to add security to your connection. Used to be an add on.

Of course, the real proof is in use.
After a long 7 hour day at Comic-Con New York I am very happy to report that my shoulders were in great shape, no sweat marks under the strap, and the same great design, made my shooting day an easier deal, even when winding my way through the crowd.
Here’s the way the rig was set up:
Nikon D810 with SB900 speedlight, and a RoundFlash modifier on one side, and a Fuji X-T2 on the other.
One was for set-up shots,
the other side was for more reportage.

For the event or wedding photographer, these are a must have. If you already have some of these, do you need to upgrade?
The strap don’t seem to wear out, but any added comfort is worth it for me. Honestly, before the new series came out, I purchased the new quieter connectors for my other BlackRapid.
Highly recommended, your back and shoulders with thank you.

By the way, on my back was the ThinkTank StreetWalker Hard Drive. Everything that was attached to the Yeti, plus a lot more, was comfortably situated on my back. Could I have gone for the ShapeShifter for a thinner profile, once unloaded and trapped on? Maybe. Although, I kinda liked being able to throw stuff in while walking around the convention floor, with ease.

The shot of me with the Hybrid was made using a Pulse Remote Control, to be reviewed shortly. very handy for this type of stuff.

Hunt’s Photo : Superior Service For Your Photo Needs

The newest camera in the line-up was coming out. The demand was high, so I got on a waiting list.
On the day it was to start shipping, Hunt’s Photo was one step ahead, the magical box appeared at my doorstep.
In hand and ready for an out of town assignment to check it out, I was one happy camper.
(I’m not a fool, and of course has other cameras with me. A brand new product could have bugs)
Yep, I was happy for about 2 weeks.
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Filling Up The Phone: Now What?

The summer memories are about to live on online, and you’ve been working your phone like crazy.
Filling up the internal memory and the cloud is getting hazy.
You may be, as I was, looking for a simple way to back up your phone, and transfer images/vids easily.
I told you about the sweet Lexar lightning flash drive, for a great, cost-effective, solution.
There is a new player on the market, for those that want the even more simplified version.

Maybe your folks? It’s not a Jitterbug, but the software is so dead simple, you can’t mess it up.

The Picture Keeper is a flash drive with USB connector on one side, and Lightning on the other.
With products like this, you want to crack open the box, and use it, right?
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