ThinkTank Photo Offers You A Little Freebie

FREE CAMERA STRAP OFFER!

Our friends at Think Tank Photo just announced a special “Gear Up For Summer!” special offer. Buy one of their highly acclaimed backpacks and they’ll include a Blue Camera Strap V2.0 and Camera Support Straps V2.0 (a $44.50 value) for free!

Take a load off your neck, shoulders, and back by using Camera Support Straps V2.0 along with the Camera Strap V2.0. These straps keep your camera’s weight off your neck and shoulders and transfer the load onto your backpack’s shoulder straps and waist belt. You’ll hardly notice your camera is there even though it will be ready to go for hassle-free shooting.
Blue Camera Strap and Support Kit
Think Tank’s backpacks are renowned for three design principles:
· Capacity — Their backpacks are the most efficient shape for carrying the most amount of gear in the smallest package. They’ve got you covered whether you’re hauling around multiple bodies with a vast array of lenses and support gear (like a laptop and tablet), large telephoto lenses or a lightweight, stripped down kit.
· Portability — Flying with your gear? All of their backpacks are sized for US Domestic and International carry-on on regular sized airliners. They’ve got bags for commuter and regional aircraft, too.
· Quality — Lesser bags use inferior hardware, materials and manufacturing techniques. Professionals choose Think Tank Photo because they know they only use the best YKK zippers and other high quality materials. They know you can’t afford to have a broken bag while on a trek.

And don’t forget that by using my link you receive a Think Tank product free with your order, free shipping, and the best customer service in the industry. Offer valid through May 31, 2014.

STM Review: Wallet & Phone Case

Yes, there a few major systems out there that give you access to pay systems without using a physical credit card. I don’t now about you, but for the most part, it’s a lot faster to use the physical card. And most transit systems require you to swipe the magnetic strip to enter.
As much as I use my phone for everything from photos and editing, airline boarding passes,amazon purchases, scanning through B&H for the right piece of used gear, I still carry a full card wallet.

Combining a few of the key cards with the phone in one case is a great idea, but honestly, a lot of the cases I see people use get kinda gross with all of the handling. Plus the amount of bulk is crazy.

STM is the company that makes my favorite iPad case, and have introduced some phone cases as well.
This one, first of all, is in black. And thin.
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Fitting a few cards in the front flap, this unit uses a unique way of keeping the cards away from the phone surface: Suction cups.
2 Very small suction cups.
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Have a look at how it gives just the right amount of air space between the phone and the cards.
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And the camera is protected by a beveled opening for the lens and flash.
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The charging, and speaker area are also left unencumbered for easy access.
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The phone is held secure, snapping into place.
Another cool feature is the easel function. Primarily for the landscape mode, but I suppose you could go vertical. It seems to stand OK, but not designed for that.
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What I like about this is: lightweight, airspace between card and screen surface, and the suction cups also help keep the flap closed.Plus being black, it’s not as susceptible to appearing dirty. Should last as long as the phone.
What I don’t like is the lack of access to the camera.I need to hold the front flap open to take a shot, while I most comfortably would fold back the front flap for normal use. That is true with most flap cases.
About $30. USD

Domke Bags: Have Your Video Gear Ready To Roll

Domke Camera bags have quite a legacy in the world of photojournalism. Well built, designed for the working pro, with easy access to gear, while protecting the goods.
They’ve now have been updated and re-introduced to a new audience.The line is called Next Generation

Screen Shot 2015-05-09 at 11.19.57 AM

Problem>>>>>>Solution

While going to events to shoot video coverage or an interview on the fly, my needs were for a bag to hold a pre-built video camera that was ready to come out quick, and get into action .
What I mean by pre-built is a camera that has a shotgun mic holder attached, or a wireless receiver / transmitter, w/lav mic, ready, batteries charged and in the camera, on board light in the hot shoe, just needing to plug in mic and earbuds, and go.
That’s the first priority.
And of course back-up cables, batteries for the camera/lights, spare power for the phone, folding leather job folder and an iPad, still camera for extra coverage. And maybe strap on a monopod with a ballhead. Or not.

I had to have a bag that was stiff for protection, but not a hard case, for lighter weight.
Incoming – the Journalist Series, and the J-Chron model fit the bill. With expandable zippered side pockets,padded sleeves for the iPad, front pockets, back pockets, solid webbing straps for holding a monopod, and has the room to serve the purpose.
Screen Shot 2015-05-09 at 11.17.22 AM

Needed to pack gear like this:
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And this:
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And it all packs in the bag like this:
attach the LED light to the cold shoe, with the ball joint mount folded down-
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Tiny tool gets clipped into back pocket, along with the leather job folder:
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Cables are all in one place in a front packet and the iPad goes in a padded sleeve behind it. I like the STM tablet case for sheer protection no matter what case the tablets is in.
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After filling one side pocket with all batteries, I use the other side for a compact camera, in this case the Fuji 100T.
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Here is the bag loaded before the flap is put over. All of that gear may not be light but it’s what I use and is all compartmentalized pockets for easy access.
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and there is still room.

Speaking of easy access, if you want to get to the gear and don’t want to deal with undoing the strong clasps
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You can pack your bag for access through the top flap with a zipper, Good for on the go , if you are using a smaller rig than I am or just a still camera. Easy in, easy out.

With this set-up, all I have to do is pop the shotgun in the clamp with a thumbscrew, and plug it OR clip the wireless lav on the subject adjust the light, and I’m in business. To keep to the minimal space effect, I’ll add some Audio-Technica ear buds to monitor the recording. Those will already be plugged in to the headphone jack.

The only thing that I wasn’t thrilled with was the big honking Domke logo (see photo at top of post), on a pocket flap. Sure, folks may know it’s a camera bag but I’d prefer not to shout. But you can fold that flap away and continue with discretion.

And there you have it.
Ready to roll in one, protected, right sized case.
This is a bag I can recommend without question.
Your needs and size may vary, so you may want to head to a brick and mortar reseller with your gear, and see what size works for you.

Or do the research based on your needs, and pick one up right here.

The gear in my bag:
Canon XF100, AT-4073 shotgun mic (no longer made), Sennheiser rec/transmitter, TRAM lav, ThinkTank Media card holder, PNY iPhone battery, iPad, GoldFold AD Wallet, Fuji 100T, Litepanel MicroPro LED, AA Batteries, Leatherman Mini, SanDisk iXpand ext drive for tablets & mobile

NEXT GENERATION brings evolutionary and revolutionary features to the trusted name of Domke. The Chronicle (the grandchild of the F-2) is the brainchild born of extensive review by professional photographers(who field-tested the prototype bags)With functionality as the core design inspiration, integrates patent pending systems for personalizing, protecting and accessing your valuable gear.

MainFeatures:

Top access with double zipper
Rear slide pocket
Expandable zippered side pocket
Key-ring strap
Secure luggage strap
Numbered identity plate
Side rain hoods
Padded zippered tablet sleeve fits up to 11×8″
“Quiet” system hook and loop silencer
Expandable front pockets
Detachable Gripper shoulder & Grab strap
Domke flap tucks in for anonymity
All zippers YKK®
Comes with 3 dividers – additional divider inserts (Insert D1 and Insert D5) available in Gear Protex Accessories


Exterior
Size 15.75 in Long
Weight 3.4 lbs
Exterior Dimensions 15.75″L x 7″W x 10″H
Interior Main Dimensions 12.25″L x 6.5″W x 9.25″H
Internal Laptop Area 11″ x 8″

Real World Review – Lexar HD2 : Multi Reader Just Got Better

When Lexar introduced the Workflow Tower last year, I took it to SXSW for a real world review.
Basically you have a 4 slot unit, where you can interchange the card reading modules, depending on your media, and have them all download concurrently to a folder, or consecutively to Lightroom.
workflow-swap-modules_3
This was a dream come true, as I was able to download all of my material without waiting to switch out cards, thereby letting me sleep more (and dream). Getting to your hotel room at 3:00 AM with a handful of cards to download is no fun.
Ok, a little fun as you see the images!

And when you didn’t need the heavy lifting of the 4 banger, each module worked on it’s own. No power needed, as you are used to. Carry what you need on the road. Sweet.

So this year, they brought out the V2:
81MlM8Jkj1L._SL1500_

simply called Lexar Workflow HR2 Four-Bay Hub

With an expanded line of modules, Thunderbolt™ 2/USB 3.0, back-up drives, AND 2 Thunderbolt ports in the back,
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Lightroom 6 Beefs Up the Options : Time to Subscribe?

I love Adobe because they are a company dedicated to the digital image across the board.
The gold standard, the one to go to. And of course after the Apple Final Cut Pro X miss-step, Premiere is becoming a go-to pro edit system.
Lightroom 5 has been working great.
Last year when they moved any updates to the Cloud, and forced you to subscribe to keep up, there was a lot of backlash. I still haven’t gone that way.

Last week, they announced the latest updates to Lightroom on the Creative Cloud

Is it time to subscribe? $10. a month to have the latest versions of Lightroom and Photoshop all the times is not bad, if you add up the cost of the software alone, figuring in upgrade costs.
To use the all too common metric of Starbucks coffees as a measuring stick of cost, it’s only about 2 cups of specialty coffee. You can get LR6 as a standalone, non rental.about $150.00

Whats New:
2 frame HDR: Sure, if you have lightened up shadows using sliders in your files, maybe you see the value. I think most HDR images look overdone. 3 images, shot using a tripod, comped,and tweaked. Now with only 2 frames needed, maybe you can make something subtler.

Pano building in LR
Always had to move images to Photoshop for this, and after multiple versions would get a reasonable pano.
Now you can do it right LR. Handy, but still watch your match points

Facial recognition:
Good for filtering your subjects on an assignment, but not in love with results. Snoop had a shot right under his face and it didn’t call it.
Screen Shot 2015-05-02 at 9.27.21 PMScreen Shot 2015-05-02 at 8.55.25 PM

It’ll get better, no doubt.

Rhythym detection software for music on your slide shows.
For those that create slide shows right out of LR, you now get a Ken Burn-type with Pan-Zoom
Plus you can pick a track that an algorithm will adjust the changing of images based on the music. Easy-Peasey, and maybe a great project to try is a family album or birthday slide show with the subjects favorite song.

The Radial tool, can making you live more on Lightroom than Photoshop
Time to go to the cloud for this tool? Hmmmm.

Here is a link to a comparison of Creative Cloud Lightroom, Lightroom 6, and Lightroom 5. you know what you need

It’s not broke, so not sure I need to fix it. Over 130K images, and things seem good living on LR5.

And now the official word:

Adobe (Nasdaq:ADBE) announced a major update to its Creative Cloud Photography plan with the release of an all-new Adobe Photoshop Lightroom CC that delivers lightning-fast performance and new tools to edit, enhance, organize and showcase beautiful photos. With Lightroom CC and the legendary magic of Photoshop CC, Adobe Creative Cloud Photography empowers photographers to transform photos into amazing shots. Creative Cloud Photography also includes unique sophisticated mobile capabilities: automatically syncing photos with Lightroom CC on the desktop, Lightroom on mobile devices lets users access and edit their entire catalog of photos on iPad, iPhone as well as Android smartphones and tablets. At just $US9.99 per month, Adobe’s photography plan champions photographers of every level — bringing the tools relied on by photo pros worldwide within reach of anyone who loves photography.
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