News

ProGo Backpack

A recently launched Kickstarter is promising to give photographers the closest thing to a Mary Poppins style camera bag–and it’s called the ProGo. This bag quite literally gives you a special collapsible shelving system that lets you hang it from a coat rack. Plus it has a pocket specifically for shoes and can accommodate your gear in a very typical backpack style.

Of course, this bag is also weather sealed. The ProGo also comes with standard with 6 pieces of modular pads with velcro and a pair of straps on the side for a tripod. The front flap and the sides / back have enough padding to protect your gear according to the claims the Kickstarter issues. It’s designed for DSLRs but then that means that you can’t throw a mirrorless camera, lenses, and flashes in there too.

But what’s even cooler is the BlueTooth device tracker–so that you never lose the bag in a crowd. More details are in the Kickstarter video after the jump.

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Lensbaby Releases New Edge 50 Optic

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Lensbaby Composer Pro II review product images (9 of 9)ISO 4001-250 sec

Though it’s already been available with the Composer Pro II. Lensbaby is now retailing the Edge 50 Optic by itself. It’s a 50mm f3.5 aperture optic with 9 aperture blades. The 50 can focus as closely as 8” from the front of the lens and its design incorporates 8 multi-coated glass elements in 6 groups.

The Edge 50 Optic offers full frame 35mm coverage, so you can mount it onto a Sony FE mount camera and get full coverage of the scene. Wide open, it’s also much sharper than much of Lensbaby’s previous optics. When stopped down, it can pretty much hold its own with other modern lenses.

They’re available now for $224 when sold individually. They’re quite a bit more with the Composer Pro II. You can check out the review to see if it’s something worthwhile for you.

Sample images (from my review) are after the jump.

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Example Profile

PhotoCrowd still doesn’t have the age of 500px or Flickr, but it’s shaping up to be quite a new and beautiful spot for folks to show off their images. Besides the contests that they offer, PhotoCrowd recently announced a revamped user profile system that displays all the info you basically need and your images in a very clean yet beautiful way. Of course, good photography also helps to make for a good looking profile.

But because of the nature of the contests, folks who display images there usually end up putting out just their A game stuff anyway. In some ways, it’s a welcome alternative that is similar to EyeEm.

If you were one of the first people to use 500px, you can see that the best photos really are a lot like what the older community used to be minus the loads and loads of nudes from Russian photographers. So to that end, if you’re looking for a new and still growing community; this may be the one for you.

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If you’re a Micro Four Thirds camera user, your ecosystem of accessories just got a tad larger. ZY Optics is today announcing their new Lens turbo adapters for M42, Canon FD and Minolta MD lenses to Micro Four Thirds cameras. The Turbo adapters not only let you adapt the lenses but also widen the field of view in addition to making the aperture shallower by one stop–just like the Metabones SpeedBoosters.

As far as tech specs go, the adapters have 4 lens elements in 4 groups, including 1 extra-low dispersion element which helps in reducing the chromatic aberrations on the image–according to the company’s claims. The angle of view of the camera lenses will be increased by 0.726x. So that means that a 50mm f2 lens will become 50mm x 0.726 = 36.3 x 2 (Micro Four Thirds crop factor) = 72.6mm at f1.4.

When they hit retailers, they’ll sell for $149.

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer 4V Design Lusso Slim brown and cyan product images review (1 of 9)ISO 2001-125 sec at f - 2.0

Hey folks,

Major, major apologies for the very late announcement of this winner. The holidays and the craziness afterwards caused a major delay for judging this contest. But good news: We’ve finally got a winner!

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Screen Shot 2016-01-08 at 9.21.58 AM

“We don’t have the budget.” I think anyone that’s tried their hands at professional photography has heard this one. Some professionals still do!

That’s probably why Digital Rev chose to give a wink and a nod to the crazy stuff that photographers put up with and have to hear on a regular basis. Their video “Shit Clients Say to Photographers” showcases some of the crew reading off crazy things that are said to photographers during client interactions–and if you’re a wedding photographer, party photographer or concert photographer you’re probably on the list of hearing this stuff the most.

While this is all fun and good, it points to a serious problem: photographers sometimes don’t know how to price themselves but they also don’t know or understand their clientele. In fact, lots of photographers who start out have probably never even thought about it. Before you become a professional photographer, you’ll need to understand that what you’re doing is creating a business, so you’ll need to treat it as such. You’re selling a creative vision and a process; not just photos. If your clientele doesn’t understand that, you’re probably not showing it off effectively.

Digital Rev’s video is after the jump.

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Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Adorama Flashpoint Streaklight 180 WS product images (1 of 8)ISO 4001-80 sec at f - 4.0

The best bang for your buck flash on the high end side of things may indeed be the Flashpoint Streaklight. After offering only the manual version for a while, the TTL versions for Canon and Nikon are now available for pre-order at Adorama. Flashpoint for years has been a house brand; and though I don’t usually vouch for house brands theirs is the only one I genuinely make exceptions for.

So what are these? They’re 180 and 360 watt second lights in the form of a hot shoe flash. However, they use a barebulb and a diffusion dome with umbrella reflector. To power the flashes, you hook them up to a battery pack–similar to how Quantum flashes work. These are also far more powerful than anything Canon or Nikon make; though they’re not as powerful as Phottix’s dedicated monolights.

Speaking of which, these flashes feature a built-in radio receiver, so they be triggered off camera with ease from up to 300 feet away.

If you’re looking for a new flash, this may be it. But check out our review of the original Streaklight first.

Zeiss Announces Brand New Lenses for the iPhone

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In one of the cooler announcements for CES 2016, Zeiss is getting into the mobile phone lens game with a brand new suite of lenses that they’re making for the iPhone. The first three lenses are a wide angle, telephoto and macro–and the macro lens will feature a zoom function. They’ll attach to the phone using a bracket that has a 1/4″-20 mount and a cold shoe for mounting accessories.

These lenses are being developed with ExoLens–and all the optics are going to have the T* anti reflective coating from Zeiss and therefore greatly improve what can be done with the phone. Not much information is available otherwise.

When they launch, they’ll be available late Q2 of 2016.

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It looks a heck of a lot like the very old Domke F3 camera bag, but the new Holdfast Gear Streetwise bag was designed in collaboration with photographer Andrew Funderberg, who owns Fundy Designer Andrew is an avid street photographer and worked with Holdfast to create a bag that is smaller than others but still able to carry all the essentials. Too much gear can slow a street photographer down–and that’s why this bag wasn’t designed to hold a whole lot of gear. From the looks of it, I’m not even sure a 13 inch MacBook can fit into here. Like many of Holdfast’s other camera bags, it’s basically like buying UGG shoes for your camera gear in that the interior is made of sheepskin. Holdfast sticks to this design because of the natural resistance to the elements, though personally I’ve never been a fan of it as it gets very dirty very quickly.

It’s got pockets all over in the normal spots, and uses its own shoulder strap. However, it can be used with the MoneyMaker and other accessories from Holdfast.

If you’re interested in one, you’ll be coughing up $425. Quite pricy–but in Holdfast’s defense the products are built incredibly well and will last for years and years.

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For CES 2016, Olympus is formally announcing their new 300mm f4 IS Pro lens. That’s right, this lens has image stabilization built into it! Since it’s a pro lens, it sports weather resistance too along with a retractable lens hood. Rendering the equivalent field of view of a 600mm lens at f8 due to the Four Thirds sized sensor, it makes sense why Olympus would put image stabilization into the lens–so that the IS from the lens and the camera can work together instead of fighting one another. Because of this, it works as a fully integrated 5 axis stabilization system. The lens alone is promising four stops of compensation.

The M.ZUIKO Digital ED 300mm f4.0 IS PRO lens is available now for an estimated street price of $2,499.99 (U.S.) and $3,199.99 (Canada). More details from the press release and images are after the jump.

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