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

imageAs 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_945292There 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 Tunz – 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 ThinkTank Retrospective 7, although many of the points in the review apply equally well to its siblings like the ThinkTank Retrospective 20, or the variety of other sized bags in the product lineRead more »

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

imageAs 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 Nikon WT-5A is a huge improvement, but it is $570 and only works with the $6K Nikon D4. Those with lesser cameras like the Nikon D600 or Nikon D800 benefit from the incredibly small, inexpensive Nikon WU-1b. 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… Read more »

TYLT: Mobile power any way you want it

Product DetailsWhen I got my first TYLT mobile battery a couple years ago, I thought it was a stylish and clever design, but didn’t hold a lot of juice. The company has come a long way, and now offers a full line of mobile power accessories for smartphones, tablets, and any other tiny battery-sucking devices you carry around. Read more »

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… Read more »

Acratech Long Lens Tripod Head: The lightest way to use a long lens in the field

There is no substitute for the image quality from a pro-quality long lens when shooting wildlife or sports. Their high-quality images and fast focus speed come at a high cost in both dollars and weight, unfortunately. Adding to the weight is the need for specialized tripod heads. Conventional ballheads are seriously painful to use with long lenses, falling off to one side or the other just at the wrong time. Until now, replacement solutions have been both expensive and heavy. Whether you like the traditional Wimberley, the newer Mongoose, the nerdy Really Right Stuff offering, or even the cut down Wimberley Sidekick, you’re looking at a minimum of 2 pounds and several hundred dollars (the Sidekick is the cheapest and lightest, but requires that you also bring and use a sturdy ballhead). Enter the new Acratech Long Lens Head.


Think Tank Mirrorless Mover 30i: My new favorite travel small camera bag

Think Tank Photo Mirrorless Mover 30i Camera Bag (Black/Charcoal)I’ve been working hard to reduce the amount of photo gear I lug around. Often I’m only taking a couple lenses, or a mirrorless camera instead of a DSLR. Sometimes I’m even working with just a tablet instead of my large laptop. So I needed to find the right bag to use when I didn’t need to load up one of my Urban Disguise briefcases. Fortunately, at the same time, Thinktank came out with a great bag suited for just this purpose, the Think Tank Mirrorless Mover 30i