• Lumahawk Shadowless LEDs

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    Lumahawk Shadowless LED Light

    If there’s one aspect about photography that’s really exciting me right now, it’s the huge advancements we’re seeing in lighting technology. Cameras get better and lenses get sharper, but new lights allow me to create completely different types of images. That’s why I was so eager to test the new Lumahawk Shadowless LED fixtures.

    Traditional LED panels are very useful, but they have a few limitations. While the light is certainly softer than a speedlight or bare bulb, it is still quite directional. This can give you hard shadows on your subject, which may or may not be desirable. The other major complaint I have with LED panels is that you need to keep your subject a fair distance from the light, as you can see the “needlepoint” effect. This is caused by the small LED bulbs casting their individual shadows on a close subject. It looks terrible.

    The solution for both of these problems is to diffuse your lights. I’ve used diffusion paper and soft boxes, and I have just wrapped lights in wax paper. This gets the job done, but it’s time-consuming and it takes up a lot more space to have a light with diffusion and a reasonable distance in front of it.

    The new Shadowles…

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  • Lumu Light Meter

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    Lumu Light Meter

    Over the last decade, as digital cameras have improved their LCD displays consistently with each generation, I’ve seen one tool slowly start to disappear from photographers’ camera bags: the light meter. “Why would I need a meter? I can just check the back screen and see if I need to adjust my settings.” This is a constant refrain when I bring up the topic of light meters. There are huge advantages to reading incident light as opposed to reflected light, like set-up time and consistency, but I can’t deny that it’s a pain hauling around a device the size of a lens or even some mirrorless cameras. That’s why I found the Lumu light meter very interesting.

    The Lumu is an insanely small light meter that clips into the headphone jack on iOS devices. This struck me as an inspired design for a few reasons. First, there’s no reason for you to carry a bulky light meter when the screen on your smartphone is vastly superior (especially in bright light) and you always have your phone with anyways. Second, I can’t count the number of times I’ve pulled a light meter out after not using it for a couple months, and the battery is dead. The Lumu draws its power from your smartphone, so you never have t…

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  • Google Glass to teach you Morse code in four hours

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    Google Glass can make learning Morse code much easier as researchers have developed a system that teaches the code within four hours.
    Google Glass can make learning Morse code much easier as researchers have developed a system that teaches the code within four hours using a series of vibrations felt near the ear. Morse code is a method of transmitting text information in which letters are represented by combinations of long and short light or sound signals. Participants wearing Google Glass learned it without paying attention to the signals — they played games while feeling the taps and hearing the corresponding letters. After those few hours, they were 94 per cent accurate keying a sentence that included every letter of the alphabet and 98 per cent accurate writing codes for every letter, the researchers said.

    “Does this…

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  • Apple MacBook Pro 2016 gets Touch Bar: Here’s the expected India pricing

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    Apple MacBook Pro with Touch Bar will take a couple of weeks to ship in India.
    At least for a few weeks from now we won’t be able to say innovation has stalled at Apple. For what Tim Cook showed the world today in Cupertino could change the way we interact with our computers and also the software that runs on them.
    The new MacBook Pro series has a TouchBar and no function keys. This new Retina display strip under the screen and above the keyboard can be customised to do what you want — certainly much more than what the traditional function keys could do — adapt itself to work fluidly with whatever software is on the screen. So with Final Cut Pro you could use the strip to skip frames, or flip through 50 shades of gray to get the colour on your Batman suit perfect. You can even pay with the TouchBar since it ushers in the TouchID into the world of Macs.
    T…

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  • Apple MacBook Pro 15-inch 2016 compared to the 2015 model: Here’s what has changed

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    Apple MacBook Pro 2016 vs MacBook Pro 2015: Here’s what has changed with the new laptops.
    Apple MacBook Pro lineup has just been refreshed. The last time this happened was in 2015, when Apple introduced the MacBook Pro with Force Touch Keypad, but the 2016 upgrade brings some crucial new features. For starters, the Apple MacBook Pro is now coming in three variants: the 13-inch version without the new Touch Bar, the 13-inch version with the Touch Bar, and the high-end 15-inch version with a Touch Bar.

    The main change to the MacBook Pro is that Apple has gotten rid of the function keys on top, and instead introduced the new OLED Touch Bar which customizes according to the application you’re using. So for Final Cut Pro or Email or Safari, the bar will show specific function keys which apply to application rather than a generic set of funct…

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  • MagMod Flash Modifiers

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    MagMod Basic Kit

    If you’ve been paying attention to photography blogs for the past five years, you’ve probably noticed the exploding popularity of speedlights. Versatile and relatively inexpensive, these flashes offer TTL support that simplifies exposing an image. Even though I find speedlights extremely convenient, I often find myself using traditional strobes for creative lighting. While I know that I can often obtain big-strobe results from smaller speedlights, I’ve found that mounting modifiers onto the small speedlights is almost always incredibly cumbersome. I’ve battled with rubber straps, double-sided velcro and adhesive glue, but I’ve always found the mounting process clunky.  That’s why I was so interested in the MagMod system.

    What makes the MagMod system so unique is the way various flash modifiers are attached. The MagGrip is a rubber sleeve that wraps (admittedly with some difficulty) over the flash head. On the front are two extremely strong magnets that are used to attach additional accessories. At first I was worried about the magnetic system, as it seemed like any quick motion or small bump would send the modifier flying off my flash, but the New Ear…

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  • The Lensbaby Velvet 56

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    While acting as an apt standard prime lens, the Velvet 56 also gives its user some very powerful macro capabilities.

    Over the past decade Lensbaby has become known for some pretty unique lenses. Offering photographers unique and interesting ways to expand their creative vision without straining their wallets. The Lensbaby Velvet 56 looks to continue this tradition by offering a truly unique 56-mm soft focus portrait lens with a couple tricks up its sleeve.

    The Lensbaby Velvet 56

    What you’re going to immediately notice about the Velvet 56 compared to most of Lensbaby’s predecessors is the build quality of this lens. They have forgone the usual plastic feel of their lenses and are instead building the lens out of metal, including its screw-on lens hood. This gives the Velvet 56 a very welcome strong, classic feel, truly showing that it draws its inspiration from the classic portrait lenses of the mid-20th century. The focus and aperture rings also benefitted from this greatly, featuring a nice smooth movement with a natural resistance that never felt like it was fighting against you. The aperture ring had a soft click to it, which was not bad but felt less solid than the movement of the focus ring.

    The actu…

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  • The Olympus EE-1 Dot Sight

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    The Olympus EE-1 Dot Sight

     

    The Olympus EE-1 Dot Sight

    The build quality of the EE-1 offers a sleek design that does not look out of place on any camera while the matte black finish will not draw attention to you.

    Every once in awhile a gadget comes out that seems to fly under the radar despite the fact that it has the opportunity to be a game changer in the market. The Olympus EE-1 Dot Sight is exactly that. One of the main complaints about mirrorless cameras is that due to their lack of an optical viewfinder, tracking fast-moving subjects in nature and sports can be near impossible. The EE-1 looks to change this by offering any photographer with a mirrorless camera that has a hotshoe a simple-to-use option to help replace the optical viewfinder when tracking subjects.

    The Olympus EE-1 Dot Sight works essentially the same as a laser-gun sight by providing an optical viewfinder with a laser reticle that allows you to frame and track a subject in the distance without having to remove your eye from the target. As anyone who has tried to photograph a bird in flight can tell you, nine times out of ten when trying this with an electronic viewfinder, all you see is sky and you miss the subject all together. Powered by a small coin-t…

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  • Sigma MC-11 Adapter

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    Sigma MC-11

    I’m a huge fan of mirrorless cameras, and one of the main reasons they won me over is the ability to adapt nearly any lens to your camera body. I have a variety of older lenses from Pentax and Nikon that are great fun to shoot on a modern mirrorless camera, and inexpensive mechanical adapters work great. However, I also want to be able to use my modern, electronically controlled Canon mount lenses on a Sony E-Mount camera, so the new Sigma MC-11 EF to E-Mount adapter grabbed my attention.

    The MC-11 adapter is a simple tube with no optical elements with electric contacts on both sides so your Sony camera can communicate with EF lenses. While Sigma only claims compatibility with their own outstanding lenses, I was also able to use Canon and Tamron lenses without issue. The MC-11 allows control over your lens’ aperture, and image stabilization will be carried over as well, if available. I tested the adapter with a Sony A6300 and A7R II, and the interface worked exactly as if a native E-mount lens was mounted. The MC-11 even allows rudimentary autofocus, with all of Sony’s functionality available.

    Sigma MC-11 Adapter

    Sigma MC-11

    The AF performance was the first thing I wanted to test, as it seems to vary q…

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  • Apple MacBook Pro 2016 are pricey: Here is what you will pay additional for accessories

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    Apple Macbook Pro 2016 finds the exit of the HDMI port, MagSafe 2, USB ports, Thunderbolt 2 and SD card slot
    The new Apple MacBook Pro notebooks are out, and start at $1,499. Unlike the last generation of the MacBook Pro, the 2016 one has all new ports. The new series of the MacBook Pro sees the exit of the MagSafe 2 power adapter, HDMI port, SDXC card slot and Thunderbolt 2 ports. Instead, the new generation MacBook Pro now comes with four Thunderbolt 3 USB-C ports and one 3.5mm headphone jack.
    What this means for the consumers who have been invested in the Apple ecosystem is they will have to buy a whole range of new accessories compatible with the new MacBook Pro generation. And obviously, these accessories are going to cost you a lot.

    If you have been a MacBook Pro or a MacBook Air user in the past, you probably have a few MagSafe 2 power adap…

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