Awareness Alert: Is Your Camera Made of ‘Conflict Minerals’?

Image credit: ENOUGH Project on flickr.

The Enough Project recently published their latest report on the use of so-called ‘conflict minerals’ in the electronics industry, which paints both a promising and sad picture. ‘Conflict minerals’ are minerals sourced in regions of conflict — in this case mainly the Democratic Republic of Congo — and help to fund the local militias and their ongoing wars. Some of these minerals are used in the electronics industry: cassiterite, columbite-tantalite, and wolframite are the source for tin, tantalum, and tungsten. Some electronics companies already have policies that help track the source of these minerals and prevent the use of minerals sourced in regions of conflict. However, much progress in this area is still to be desired.

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Booq Announces Two New Environmentally Conscious Natural Fibre Bags For The Nature Boy (Girl) In You

Booq has just expanded its Fibre Collection of natural fibre bags with the Mamba Daypack and Mamba Courier. The former is a full-fledged backpack with enough space for a laptop up to 15″ plus your phone and essential college/work materials and/or a selection of your camera gear — and more. The latter is a laptop brief / messenger bag that comes in two sizes: one for laptops up to 13″ and one for laptops up to 15″. Both bags are made mostly from natural fibers, with some applications made from metal and nylon. According to Booq, this fiber was exclusively developed for the Mamba series and helps “conserving valuable resources”. Now, if that isn’t reason enough to buy one of these bags …

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Sony’s New NEX AE50 is Kind of a Big Deal for Wedding Videographers

The NEX AE50 camcorder sports an NEX mount (E mount lenses), two XLR ports, an 18-200mm Servo lens designed for video, and 1080p at 60p. And the chip size is APS-C. Now get this: this portable powerhouse can be in the hands of wedding videographers for under $4,000. If you’re a Canon shooter, you can use the new Metabones adapter to put Canon EF glass on the camera and still maintain the lenses IS or aperture control.

It can record video to SD cards or Memory Stick DUO (Sony’s own cards), plus it seems to be a major step up beyond the NEX VG20 (Sony’s other interchangeable lens camcorder coming in at a budget price.) More photos and specs are after the jump.

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Apt No. 7’s Pebble Brick Original Camera Strap May Think You’re a Creep For Staring at Its Gorgeous Looks

The camera strap. It’s as important as the bag you carry your camera in. And as highly discussed and controversial. Why? Because for some, it’s a means of making your camera kit unique, besides adding better ergonomics. While for others, it’s just some random accessory. For those of you who want to set their camera kit apart from that of everybody else, here’s a new option: the Apt No. 7 Pebble Brick Original Camera Strap. Made in the USA from 100% genuine leather, the Original Camera Strap comes in a classy Cognac-brown color with an elegant pebble finish.

Paired with a classic camera like the Pentax K1000 in the picture above, the Pebble Brick Original Camera Strap looks extremely stylish but yet understated at the same time. It can be purchased for US-$ 75 from Apt No. 7’s own webstore.

For more information, you can visit Apt No. 7’s website.

Quickdraw a New Kickstarter That Demands Your Trust

I’m back with another Kickstarter project and yes, I know that I have an addiction. This time it’s a product from Riley Kimball which allows you to connect a lens directly to your hip similar to how the Capture Clip attaches a camera to your waist.

Well I guess you could use a bag system like the one that ThinkTank offers but this is a bit flashier way to show off your holy trinity of lenses. For both Canon and Nikon the Quickdraw acts like a lens cap attached to your waist in which you can just twist on and off. Continue reading…

HoldFast Gear Announces Batman’s Utility Belt: Coins It the [Photo]Belt

HoldFast Gear is letting you take over the cape and cowl from Bruce Wayne by letting the overburdened photographer mount all their gadgets to their belt. The company has just announced the [Photo]Belt, that is a brand new piece of kit designed for the fashion savvy but still very serious photographer (like many of us in NYC.) Holding true to the aesthetics of all their products, this one is all leather and characterized by some serious holes along the line of the belt which then have metal wrapped around them to form eyelets. Using this system of holes, the photographer and then use the new [Photo]strap to attach items to the belt accordingly.

Matt Swaggart, the line’s creator, states that you can then hang lens pouches from your waist. I know that my roommate might attach a water bottle while I personally would keep a speedlite modifier around there like my ExpoImaging Ray Flash, an extra Rogue Flash Bender, or maybe even try to figure out a way to keep my Indispensible Wallet from ever leaving too far away from my pocket.

The company tells us that the belt is now available. Check out the extra product photos after the jump.

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Earlier Reports Confirmed As False: The Fujifilm X100 Is Not Discontinued

We’ve just received some really exciting news. First off, the Fujifilm X100 was said to be discontinued according to Photo Rumors via Crutchfield camera. At the moment of writing this post, it still is marked as such. However, upon seeing our WCL conversion lens review, our Fujifilm USA rep just told us that this report is false and that the X100 is still current.

So does this mean that there could be a delay on the announcement of the highly rumored X200?

In the meantime, it is still pretty much the point and shoot camera to beat despite the Sony RX100 being very hot. So get it while it’s still available as B&H and Amazon have it in stock.

Product Updates From Unified Color

The most recent update of the Unified Color suite of applications brings Mountain Lion compatibility for Apple people as well as support for the latest pro cameras for those professional camera people. The new camera support adds compatibility for the Canon 1DX / Mark3 and Nikon D4 / D800. This update comes as a free update for existing users.

If this is your first time hearing about Unified Color they have a free 30 day trial on their website and they offer 32-bit color HDR photography applications for Aperture, Lightroom plus a standalone application.

New 14mm, 24mm and 35mm Cinema Lenses From Samyang

When they started with just the specialty 8mm cinema lens they didn’t get that much attention. Today they are bringing us 3 very common and usable focal lengths for cinema work. The three lenses are the 14mm T3.1 ED AS IF UMC wide angle lens, the 24mm T1.5 ED AS IF UMC lens and the 35mm T1.5 AS UMC lens.

What makes these lenses special is that they are declicked and because of that they have a step less aperture ring. All manual focus lenses from the old days have an aperture step for each aperture and this results in the lens clicking in place for each aperture. The aperture ring as well as the focus ring have follow focus gears for racking focus or pulling focus.

These lenses will be available towards the end of August and the prices have yet be announced.

Nikon Announces New Coolpix L610 and J2

The point and shoot market received another addition; and so did the mirrorless camera market. You’re looking at the new Nikon Coolpix L610: a compact superzoom camera that comes in three pretty colors. Otherwise though, the highly rumored Nikon J2 is also being announced. Replacing the J1, it is the camera aimed at the point and shoot market for the most part.

Specs, photos, and all that jazz are after the jump.

Edit: B&H Photo has the J2  and the new lens available for pre-order

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CameraMator is a New Way to Shoot Tethered

Here is another Kickstarter project for photographers that aims to make life just a bit better. Usman Rashid wanted an easy way to tether an iPad or similar device to capture images from his camera but couldn’t find one that was easy and affordable. He then sought out to create a device that would do just that.

That device is the CameraMator and it does several things including camera control, instant image review, intervalometer, HDR bracketing, self-timer and photo sharing. Continue reading…

Firmware 2.0 For The Canon 7D is Now Available

As promised by Canon the firmware update for the 7D is now available. It was previously announced late June and we have gone over the features here. You can find the firmware update here on the Canon site, just select your OS and version then scroll down to firmware.

Bringing new life to the model may mean that they are trying to clear inventory or prolong its replacement a bit longer. Feel free to let us know your thoughts on the update!

An Ergonomic Kit is Now Available for The Fuji X10; Diopters for the X Pro 1


Brandon Remler just let us know that Fuji is now shipping an Ergonomic Kit for their Fuji X10. This kit includes a matte black finish thumbs up grip for increased camera stability and a soft release button for impeccable response shooting. The kit is available from Amazon and Kenmore Camera (great camera shop btw) for $129.

But wait: there’s more than that! The X Pro 1 will also receive interchangeable diopters. The current one is very standard, but can be unscrewed. The new diopters will help those with glasses or contacts.

Spider Holster Announces an Arca-Swiss Clamp


Spider Holster recently announced that they have released an Arca-Swiss clamp which allows loyal Arca-Swiss fans to use their system with ease. If you haven’t heard of Spider Holster before (like me) they make a product that allows you to attach a camera or two to your hip similar to the Capture Clip system which I reviewed a bit earlier.

This new clamp will add compatibility with a few major brand L-brackets including those from Wimberley, Really Right Stuff, and Kirk. The clamp will retail for $95 and will be available soon from and will be compatible with both the SpiderPro / Black Widow systems. More information can be found on the Spider Holster site.

Westcott Announces The Cheesy But Effective X-Drop Backdrop Kit

I received an email announcing this backdrop kit and at first I thought… this is so cheesy but then I was sold on how easy and effective it seemed. I think it was the multi patterned backdrops that turned me off but the fact is Wescott seemed to have designed a very simple backdrop solution. Wescott calls the product the X-Drop and its aimed at the on the go location photographer.


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HoldFast Gear Olympic RuckStrap Limited Edition Has Nothing To Do With 2012 Olympic Games, But Looks Cool

HoldFast gear presents a limited edition of their RuckStrap camera carrying solution celebrating the 30th Olympic Games this year (with which it has nothing to do.)* Only thirty pieces of the Olympic Limited Edition will be made in red and blue — the colors of Olympic spirit — with beige leather applications. (Again, this has nothing to do with this year’s Olympic Games in London.)*

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The X-Cap, For Those M43 Users Who Are New to Lens Caps

For those who are coming from compact cameras are used to the lens retracting and protecting itself. When these people who have graduated to a Micro 4/3 camera from Panasonic are now getting accustomed to removing the lens cap and routinely loosing it.

From Taiwan there is a new solution for the users of the Panasonic X 14-42mm lens there is a lens cap that takes care of itself called the X-Cap.
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Fujifilm’s FixePix F800EXR Will Let You Be Like Every Other Tourist That Comes to New York City

Fujifilm has been known for their EXR sensors being really quite good, and today they’re letting you totally be a creep and photograph someone from far away while instantly uploading to your smartphone. Indeed, the new camera sports a 25-500mm f3.5-f5.3 lens, a 1/2″ 16MP CMOS EXR sensor, the ability to shoot RAW, and wireless image transfer. Unfortunately, it only has a 3 inch LCD at 460K dots. But if you love shooting and sharing, then that screen won’t matter when your image is displayed on your iPad, iPhone or Android device. To be do this, you should download the new Fujifilm Photo Receiver app.

Then by downloading the free “FUJIFILM Camera Application,” the FinePix F800EXR is also able to record the user’s current location data provided by the smartphone or tablet’s location data (latitude and longitude), and display it on the F800EXR’s LCD.

The FinePix F800EXR will be available in August 2012 for $349.95 in black.

Sony Announces New 55-300mm f4.5-5.6 Superzoom A Mount Lens

Today, Sony has pulled the veil off of the highly rumored 55-300mm f4.5-5.6 lens for Sony A Mount cameras (with an APS-C sized sensor.) The new lens features Sony’s SAM (Smooth Autofocus Motor), one ED lens element, and that really seems to be about it. The Sony 55-300mm f4.5-5.6 SAM lens will be available in September for $300.

Check out all the tech specs you care about after the jump. If you’re in the market for a Sony DSLR camera, check out our A37 and A77 reviews.

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