• Kelly Moore Bags

    As new parents and daily gear-haulers, my wife, Evelyn, and I know our way around bags, especially camera bags. With over 10 years of experience working, living and breathing photo-retail, we have seen them all. It’s rare when a new bag gets us excited, so we were pleasantly surprised when Kelly Moore did just that.

    Big camera bags are never sexy. One of the reasons I love having a small mirrorless camera is that I can easily carry it with me, and I prefer using bags that don’t scream, “I am a photographer; ask me to take pictures!” The Kelly Moore Followell bag immediately caught my eye when it arrived with its classic styling that doesn’t overplay the vintage aesthetic. What immediately inspired confidence was the tough top faux-leather flap, which snaps firmly onto magnets on the bag’s outer lining. Too often they are a pain to get into or flop open too easily, and this was one of the few that feels both secure and accessible. The interior camera basket is removable, so you can use it for photo gear or as a day bag.

    Kelly Moore Bags

    Followell (front)

    I’ve often found that many camera bags have large central chambers but never enough room for the small stuff you need. The Followell has several small pockets, pe…

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  • The Qudos Action Light

    The Qudos Action Light

    Even though lighting is quite possibly one of the most important things for getting clean, professional video or photos, in the world of action cams it also seems to be one of the most ignored. Finally, the Qudos Action Light by Knog looks to fill this void with a well-designed, easy-to-use light that will take more than just GoPro footage to the next level.

    The Qudos is specifically made to work in combination with either GoPro or Sony action-cam systems, coming with a bracket that will allow the light and camera to be hooked side-by-side and attached to most of the stock mounts that come with the camera. This is also one of the first lights on the market to be waterproof up to 40 metres, making it a solid little companion in any weather situation.

    Operation of the Qudos is relatively simple, with one single button that you press for 2 seconds to turn on and off, and for 1 second to change modes. The Qudos offers a 400-lumen output in its action setting and goes down to 70 lumens for ambient light. It is strong enough to give about 3 to 5 metres of visibility and is great for providing an extra bit of fill when natural light is fading. Keep in mind, though, that most people will fi…

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  • Optex Black TTL Flex Arm

    © Jordan Drake

    Whenever a situation arises that requires on-camera flash, I immediately start thinking of ways to get that flash in a more interesting place than just stuck on the hotshoe over my lens. I’ve done everything from using flash brackets and grip sticks to just holding my speedlight out to the side and triggering it with my pop-up flash. But all these options were fairly clunky and required an expensive TTL cable if I didn’t have time to manually adjust my flash output.

    Optex heard my pleas for a better option, and they responded by introducing the new TTL Flex Arm (distributed in Canada by Gentec International). This little device looks like the standard flexible mounts I use for holding flags or other lighting modifiers, but the difference is that on both ends it has standard shoe mounts and additional little contacts that allow you to use TTL flash metering (for Canon and Nikon systems)! Using this I can now easily elevate the flash well over my lens to soften the background shadow or swing the flash to the left or right, allowing for much more dimensionality in the image.

    Optex Black TTL Flex Arm

    Image taken with direct flash on the hotshoe. © Jordan Drake

    The great thing about the Optex TTL Flex Arm i…

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  • PhotoRepublik Filters

    PhotoRepublik Filters

    Finding budget filters that don’t have an adverse effect on image quality has become an impossible task lately. While most budget filters won’t hurt your wallet, the quality of your images can take quite a beating, with loss of clarity and a gain of unsightly ghosting and fringing. So when I tried out PhotoRepublik’s line of filters, I was very skeptical about the image quality that I was going to get. However, after testing the filter line, I was shocked to find my image quality was close to that of mid- to high-quality filters, at about half the price.

    PhotoRepublik offers an extensive range of filters from circular polarizers, neutral-density filters ranging from ND4 to ND2000, and both regular- and pro-level UV filters. The size range of these filters is also very impressive, with filter sizes between 37 mm to 82 mm in diameter.

    The build quality of the filter itself is superb; the entire filter line is made from a high-grade machined aluminum alloy that offers a lightweight durable feel. The filters attach to the front of the lens very smoothly, even after several weeks of being removed and reapplied. Weather did not really have an effect on the filter, with…

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  • Sony launches MDR-XB50BS and XB80BS wireless extra bass in-ear headphones

    Sony MDR-XB80BS and MDR-50BS have a battery life of up to 7 hours and 8.5 hours respectively
    Sony India has unveiled its all new MDR-XB50BS and MDR-XB80BS sports wireless (extra bass) in-ear headphones today. Sony says, “This wireless headphones line-up, comes with uncompromising sound quality, distinct finish, portability with aesthetic design and an urban appeal.” The headphones are being targeted for the sports enthusiasts, and Sony claims are tuned for EDM music that has the best matching tempo.

    “These powerful additions to Sony’s wireless in-ear headphones eliminate the hassle of connecting wires. Listening experience becomes much smoother as one can connect their music player, Smartphone or dock via Bluetooth and with one-touch NFC. It also has built in mic for hands free calling,” Sony added in its press stat…

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  • Ricoh Theta S

    After spending over a decade looking at photography and video gear, it can become easy to get a bit jaded. A constant parade of new cameras, with slight improvements from the previous version, seems to be the standard. A truly unique camera is something we rarely see these days, yet the original Ricoh Theta is certainly qualified. It looked like a Lik-M-Aid stick with googly eyes, but it was my introduction to spherical photography.

    The fascinating thing about the Theta series is the twin attached lenses’ ability to record everything around, above and below the device in a single image. No need for a series of stitched images to create the effect, so with the Theta you can shoot 360-degree images with moving subjects in the shot. After the shot is captured, you can pan and zoom around the shot on your smartphone, tablet or computer to see the entire scene around the camera.

    The original Theta was a very innovative camera, and I spent hours playing with the files to create interesting images. However, even though it was certainly novel, the stills weren’t great quality—they were similar to images shot on a phone—and the video was such low resolution that it was only usable as a proof of conc…

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  • Apple iPod turns 15 today, still making people groove

    Apple 1st Gen iPod featured a 5GB hard drive, FireWire port for syncing (Image Source: Apple)
    It was back in October 23, 2001, Apple Co-Founder and former Chief Executive Steve Jobs unveiled the iPod; a portable music player, that changed the way people buy and listen to music even 15 years from its launch. The first generation of iPod featured a 5GB hard drive, FireWire port for syncing, a physically-rotating scroll wheel that could save 1,000 songs, tech website Venture Beat reported on Monday.

    The second generation of the iPod (Classic) came out in July 2002, with touch control and added Windows support. It featured 10 and 20GB storage capacity. The iPod Nano, iPod Shuffle and iPod Touch followed the iPod Mini.
    The Cupertino giant added a the iPod Mini to its lineup in January, 2004 featuring 4GB of RAM and connectiion via FireW…

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  • GoPole Scenelapse

    GoPole Scenelapse

    Adding movement to timelapse video or photography can be a tedious and cumbersome task; one wrong movement and all the previous work can be for nothing. The GoPole Scenelapse is a nifty little gadget for those looking to add simple panning effects to their video at a budget price.

    At first glance, the Scenelapse seems to share more in common with an egg timer than it does with a piece of camera equipment, but it’s this simplicity that gives the Scenelapse its accessibility to beginners. Just like an egg timer, the Scenelapse works on a simple mechanical mechanism that, when wound, takes 60 minutes to rotate a full 360° at a smooth pace. Not having to worry about another set of batteries is a nice touch and gives the Scenelapse a bit of extra weather resistance when working on a rainy day. The top GoPro mount also can be removed to reveal a standard camera mounting screw that makes it possible to easily attach a mirrorless or small DSLR camera to the top of it, though the light build of the Scenelapse makes it ill-advised to attach larger, high-end DSLR cameras.

    Use of the Scenelapse is simple enough. Just attach it to the bottom of your camera, then mount it to the top of your tri…

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  • Heat 3 Smart Gloves

    There is no getting around it; winter is an absolute pain to work in, both figuratively and literally. Trying to shoot during the winter months is often a compromise between keeping warm and losing dexterity with thick unruly gloves, or decreasing the thickness of the gloves and losing the amount of time you can be out in the weather before the cold takes it toll on your hands. The Heat Company has come up with a novel way to handle this problem by combining two styles of glove in one convenient package with the Heat 3 Smart Glove.

    The Heat 3 Smart Gloves take the concept of gloves to the next level and are a must-have solution to meet all your needs this winter season.

    The first thing that should be noted about these gloves is their design and their original intended use. These gloves were first designed for the German and Austrian Special Forces for use in winter climates for long periods of time, and it shows. Though remarkably lightweight, these gloves are made to take a beating. They are made out of a water-resistant elastic microfiber, and the palm is reinforced with high-quality goat leather that creates a tough outer skin while not giving up any dexterity.

    The Heat 3 Smart Glove also off…

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  • The Phantom DJI

    The DJI Phantom 2 series of quadcopters is the perfect entry point for any person considering trying their hand at aerial imaging. They are a great way to gain new angles and perspectives in video and photography.

    They are available in 3 different styles: the Phantom 2, the Phantom 2 Vision, and the Vision+. DJI offers several different custom gimbals, and the base model can be fitted to allow use with a variety of cameras including the GoPro Hero 3. While the Vision and Vision+ come with their own pre-attached cameras and offer in-flight tilt control for the creation of new and different angles. The Vision and Vision+ are also accompanied with a smartphone app that allows you to communicate and control the camera seamlessly, plus set shooting waypoints for your quadcopter to travel to automatically.

    What is most appealing about the Phantom 2 series is its use of GPS to assist your flight. Because of this, it is one of the easiest quadcopters on the market to fly. The GPS unit will do everything from track its movements to correct the Phantom’s flying position so that micro adjustments don’t have to be made constantly. This lets you spend less time worrying about piloting, so you can conc…

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