• Canon Connect Station CS-100

    The Canon Connect Station CS-100

    Many photographers complain that though capturing and processing their images is a pleasure, dealing with the inevitable headaches of file management is a huge buzzkill. I know I’ve often found myself cleaning up my hard drive, while anxiously hoping that I remembered to back up all my files. Also, if someone wants to see one of my older pictures or videos, it’s always a pain trying to remember where that file was stored. Now Canon has released the new Connect Station CS-100 in an attempt to simplify the process of playing back and storing images and video.

    So what can the CS-100 do? For starters, it has a 1-TB hard drive built in for storing JPEGS, Canon Raw files, and video. What makes the CS-100 so interesting is that it supports NFC communication for downloading. If you have an NFC-enabled Canon camera, like an EOS 80D, you can simply place the camera on top of the CS-100 and your photos and video can be downloaded to the device with no cables and without removing the memory card. After a long shoot, I can certainly see the appeal of just putting your camera on the CS-100 and knowing that all your files have been backed up.

    There are a few limitations to the wir…

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  • Waka Waka Power Charger & Light

    Living in the developed world, it is very easy to take something as simple as electricity and light for granted. Though for 1.2 billion people living without electricity and a viable light source is a way of life. Starting off as a Kickstarter campaign, the Waka Waka Power looks to change this by providing a socially responsible external charging unit with a built-in light source that is compact, lightweight and easy to use.

    As this is a socially responsible product, every Waka Waka Power comes with an individual code that, when entered on their website, provides one unit for someone in the developing world and provides funding for different energy projects around the world.

    The design of the Waka Waka Power is very minimalist, but in a good way. Weighing about 200 grams and coming in around the size of your typical travel hard-drive, it’s no burden at all to add to any travel kit, car emergency kit or hiking pack. The smooth rounded-rectangle design gives it a sleek look while the rubberized port covers and power button give it a durable feel. The three colour choices are also a nice touch. Coming in black, white and yellow, it provides a good variety to match your lifestyle.

    The construc…

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  • Syrp Genie and Genie Mini

    In the last year, I’ve found myself constantly shooting time-lapses, where previously I would have taken a single landscape shot (maybe HDR, if I had a tripod) and moved on. If I went anywhere with a camera and a tripod, there were bound to be a few time-lapse shots produced. When things all line up, time-lapses can make a very interesting, different impression on your audience.

    One thing I wanted to experiment with, though, was having some camera movement in my shots since a bit of movement can make a shot much more immersive. Unfortunately, all of the motion-control systems I looked at that allowed precise movement over a long period of time were extremely expensive and proprietary. Then I heard about a cool new solution called the Genie from the New Zealand company Syrp.

    While most motion-control systems require you to use a specific slider or camera base, the genius of the Genie is that it runs along a simple nylon cable. As a result, you can use it with any slider out there, or even a dolly. I’ve mounted the unit on several different sliders, a little Pico dolly and even on a soft cloth to slide across linoleum! Just tell the Genie how far you want it to go (in metric and imperial) and how long…

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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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