New Drobo 8D Includes Thunderbolt 3 and Intelligent Volume Management

Drobo 8D is The First Product From Drobo Since Its Acquisition by StorCentric

During a behind closed doors meeting earlier this year at PhotoPlus Expo, we got to sit down with Drobo’s Chief Technology Officer Rod Harrison to learn about the brand new Drobo 8D Direct Attached Storage (DAS) that the company just officially announced today. Designed with creative professionals in mind, the Drobo 8D DAS is a very easy to operate, nearly plug and play Direct Attached Storage device that features impressive performance while ensuring ease of use for creatives that may not have a background in managing enterprise level storage devices. The 8D is also the first Drobo product to have Intelligent Volume Management built in, supporting a maximum volume size of 128TB, and is also the first 8 Bay Drobo device to include an SSD Accelerator Bay for Hot Data Caching. The Drobo 8D is the first new product from the company after it was acquired by StorCentric, and reflects the parent company’s commitment to building world-class customer-centric storage products. We look forward to reviewing the Drobo 8D as soon as review units are available. Full press release after the jump.

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Review: SanDisk Extreme Portable SSD (1TB)

The SanDisk Extreme Portable SSD is a super fast external SSD card for the photographer on the go.

In my time using the SanDisk Extreme Portable SSD, I’ve learned just how incredibly fast technology and transfer rates have become. Despite being satisfied with my 2015 MacBook Pro and iMac computers, their Thunderbolt ports were always more than adequate for me. But when using the SanDisk Extreme Portable SSD and recently moving gigabytes of data between computers, I saw first hand at just how fast a few gigabytes could be transferred. It floored me, and for the photographer who needs those types of speeds all the time, the SanDisk Extreme Portable SSD is a great data storage solution.

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Review: Loupedeck+ Brings Improvements Over the Original Version

Loupedeck+ promises to make photo editing faster and more intuitive.

For many professional photographers, post processing is an integral part of their workflow. While I prefer to get as much done in camera as possible, knowing what I’m able to pull out of my RAW files during post production has allowed me to shoot under some less than ideal situations and still produce deliverable work to clients. This doesn’t mean I necessarily enjoy sitting in front of my computer working in Adobe Lightroom Classic CC or Capture One any more than I have to. Given the choice, I’d rather be out and about clicking my shutter rather than clicking away on my keyboard or dragging sliders around with my mouse. This is where the Loupedeck+ comes in, with the promise of cutting down editing time and making the process more intuitive.

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Moment Delivers Photography Accessories for Brand New Google Pixel 3

Moment’s got you covered with photography accessories for the brand new Google Pixel 3 and Google Pixel 3 XL.

Google announced the brand new Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL smartphones earlier today, and Moment is releasing brand new photography accessories for smartphone photographers looking to upgrade to the new Android devices. As part of this release, Moment is introducing new photo cases, lenses, and the Moment Pro Camera app for Android.

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Review: WhiteWall Acrylic Mini Prints (a Pretty Unique Way of Showcasing Your Work)

If you’re a fan of the way Instagram displays your images, I think you’ll like how the WhiteWall Acrylic Mini process can make them manifest.

Long time readers of the Phoblographer will know about how much I value prints. With the WhiteWall Acrylic Mini I was given the opportunity to try something completely new. WhiteWall is an industry standard when it comes to printing photos. Great customer service and fantastic quality leads lots of photographers to trust them for higher end work. With the WhiteWall Acrylic Mini prints, photographers get the ability to create rectangles or squares–perfect for most photographers. They aren’t the largest prints by any means, but I decided to do something very Instagram-style with the WhiteWall Acrylic Mini prints.

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Review: Gitzo Traveler Alpha Tripod and L Bracket (Sony FE Cameras)

The Gitzo Traveler Alpha tripod was designed specifically for Sony FE cameras, and it works well with them.

I never thought a tripod could be specifically designed for a certain camera series, but indeed the Gitzo Traveler Alpha Tripod is exactly that for Sony FE series cameras. The design has to do specifically with the plate which accommodates Sony FE cameras as long as they have a native FE lens on them. It was also designed to work in part with an L bracket on the Sony camera. With the L bracket attached, the camera becomes easier and faster to switch from horizontal to vertical mode. This way, you don’t need to manipulate the ball head. While it’s well built, I’m not sure it’s worth a price of just under $1,000.

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Review: Irix Edge Neutral Density ND32000 (Used with the IRIX 15mm f2.4 FireFly)

Playing with the IRIX 15 Stop ND filter was one of the most interesting experiences I’ve had.

After reviewing two of their lenses, the folks at IRIX sent me the Irix Edge Neutral Density ND32000 for review; and the experience of using it became one involving a better understanding of the environment around me, settings, the weather, etc. Yes, that’s right–it cuts out 15 stops of light. With an ND filter like this, a photographer can shoot with their camera on a tripod and not need to stop their lens down a whole lot. Instead, they can shoot at f4, f5.6, etc. While it’s very tempting to sometimes shoot at incredibly long exposures too, the photographer using the IRIX 15 Stop ND Filter should be incredibly aware of their environments. While that may sound like common sense, it’s a situation that baffled photographers who have been shooting for even longer than me.

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Adapter Review: Fringer EF-FX Pro (Tested on the Fujifilm X Pro 2)

The Fringer EF-FX Pro adapter has a whole lot going for it.

Adapting DSLR lenses of all kinds to your mirrorless camera has long been one of the coolest things about going mirrorless. It has also made that process of transferring from an old DSLR system to a newer mirrorless one that much easier of a process for a lot of photographers. The caveat being that the majority of these adapters are just dummy adapters, meaning they hold the lens in the right spot, but there is no AF or electronic communication to the camera.

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Review: Stroppa Flat Camera Strap (So Gorgeous, Yet So Simple)

With the Stroppa Flat Camera Strap, you’ve got an option that is bound to stand out.

I’ve always been more of a leather and canvas guy when it comes to my camera straps, but after I was given the Stroppa Flat Camera strap I was pleasantly surprised. The material looks like a lighter version of the sailing rope style bindings that you’d find at Home Depot, but this is softer and quite durable. The Stroppa Flat Camera strap isn’t exactly low profile depending on what color you get. I was given both black and red; the red is arguably the more stylish of the two. For the photographer who doesn’t want leather or canvas, the Stroppa Flat Camera strap could be an affordable and versatile option.

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Review: BenQ SW240 Monitor for Photographers

The BenQ SW240 is the company’s latest affordable option for the photographer; but how is it?

Only a couple of years ago a high-end monitor with a built-in calibration and profile system which was also capable of displaying the entire Adobe RGB (1998) gamut cost serious money. And then BenQ upended that game with the SW series monitors. If you are in the market for a high-performance monitor, performance wise the BenQ SW models are right up there with the Eizo ColorEdge and NEC PA monitors but cost substantially less.

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Review: Cub and Co XQR Strap and Camera Bag System

The Cub and Co XQR system is one that I’m not totally sure I know how to wrap my head around.

I’ve often been a big fan of the things that Cub and Co does, but with the new Cub and Co XQR system I’m scratching my head. This is a product that I’m not exactly sure I understand though I will fully admit that there are things about it that make it innovative and much different from everything else out there. For that, Joel and the folks at Cub and Co should be applauded. But as far as usefulness goes, I’m not exactly sure that I can condone using a system like this.

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Review: MeFOTO Roadtrip Leather Edition Tripod (a Gorgeous Tripod for the Landscape Photographer)

The MeFOTO Roadtrip Leather Edition is a fine accessory for the photographer looking for some spice in their gear.

It was a little while back that I started seeing leather, wood, and old school aluminum incorporated into photo gear with Cokin’s offerings. But the new MeFOTO Roadtrip Leather Edition takes that and adds even more practicality to the design. We’ve previously reviewed the MeFOTO Roadtrip tripod and thoroughly enjoyed it. With the new MeFOTO Roadtrip Leather Edition tripod there is even more to love. The design seems updated to provide even more versatility. Does it completely change the game? Not really, but it surely adds more flavor to the world of tripods–and monopods!

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Review: TerraMaster D5-300C Hard Drive Bay

Is the TerraMaster D5-300C really a fantastic budget option for photographers?

Just as rent and transit fares are ever increasing, so too are the size of the raw files created by the latest cameras. This is a fact of life that we as content creators have to contend with on a daily basis. You can never have too much storage, but you may have some hard drives laying around collecting dust, and the TerraMaster D5-300C may just be the right DAS (Direct Attached Storage) device to put them to good use.

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Review: LaCie 2big Dock Thunderbolt 3 (The Dock Photographers Need)

The LaCie 2big Dock Thunderbolt 3 is an elegant local storage solution for content creators with deep pockets

With the advent of cameras with ever increasing megapixel counts, never before have content creators been faced with the challenge of managing and maintaining such vast amounts of data. This is especially challenging for photographers and videographers who work primarily from their laptops. Laptops tend to be lacking in storage space unless you’ve got deep enough pockets to afford one with a large hard disk/solid state drive. It’s not uncommon to see content creators juggling multiple external hard drives, stacking them up on their desks like oversized decks of playing cards, plugging them in as needed to retrieve or archive photos/footage. This process can be quite a hassle, especially if you don’t remember where you stored a particular file. LaCie’s 2big Dock Thunderbolt 3 aims to be an all-in-one solution for content creation professionals to both ingest and store all of their valuable data in one compact, minimal package.

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Review: HP zBook X2 Tablet for Creative Professionals

The HP zBook X2 marks the company’s attempt to really target creatives. And they’re not doing a terrible job!

When the HP zBook X2 was announced, I was pretty excited and had hopes that it would send a message to Apple. And over my month or so of using the HP zBook X2, I grew less and less tolerant of it vs the Apple ecosystem that I’ve been embedded in for almost 10 years. But it honestly doesn’t have a lot to do with the way HP designed the tablet. The HP zBook X2 is a very good machine in and of itself; but the problem has more to do with Lightroom and Photoshop — the two apps they’re really talking about when it comes to working with photographers.

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Review: Western Digital My Passport Wireless SSD (1TB)

Western Digital My Passport Wireless Series of external drives have long been a favorite for traveling photographers

Western Digital, or WD as you may know the company, has been pushing the envelope in terms of external storage solutions for several years now. It started with their original My Passport Wireless (read our review) and has gone through a couple of iterations since then, now culminating with their latest offering for the traveling content creator – the My Passport Wireless SSD. What they are positioning to be is the perfect external drive of the traveling content creator; be that photographer, videographer, whatever.

We have had our hands on the drive since it was announced at CES in January, and today we are here with our full review. Over the course of this review, we have traveled by plane, by car and used the My Passport Wireless SSD as it is intended to be used. We have had our hands on the 1TB model, but there are also 2TB models, as well as 250GB and 500GB models. Continue reading…

Review: VEO2 235CB Tripod (a Great Tripod for the Traveller)

The Vanguard VEO 2 235CB is a great, portable tripod for the travel photographer

When it comes to tripods, there hasn’t really been a whole lot of innovation in the past few years. Sure, the designs change and get better but there is nothing that has been completely game changing. The Vanguard VEO 2 235CB is in some ways the same thing we’ve been seeing over the years, but you also have the supreme build quality that we’ve always experienced with Vanguard products. We field tested this while hiking, on airplanes, on the NYC subways, in cars, and on rugged waterfronts. Somehow or another, Vanguard was able to take the build quality that we expect with the Alta series and put it into a small enough package with the VEO. Granted, you’re not getting all the features and are really limited to a few heads, but if you’re shooting photos then the Vanguard VEO 2 235CB is pretty difficult to beat.

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Quick Review: ProGrade Digital SDXC UHS-II Class U3 Card

The ProGrade Digital SDXC UHS-II kepp up with our most recent tests with no trouble at all.

We’re not typically ones to review SD cards, but the recent ProGrade Digital SDXC UHS-II deserves a bit of a feature due to addressing a concern I had while testing the Fujifilm X-H1 recently. For photographers, using the card isn’t really a problem in and of itself. In fact, it’s more or less flawless for photography. But the Fujifilm X-H1 is their most aggressive push towards getting into the world of video. It sports a 4K, 24p, 200MB/second video feature. Luckily, the ProGrade Digital SDXC UHS-II writes at 200MB/second. So when tucked into the Fujifilm X-H1, it seemed a match made in heaven.

Editor’s Note: These cards read at 200MB/s. They write at 80MB/s

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Review: The BenQ SW 271 Display (27 Inch)

The BenQ SW 271 has a lot going for it. We’ve been testing it for a little while now.

BenQ is making a really strong push to compete with the big boys — Eizo and NEC— in the high end, high resolution, large gamut monitor market segment. And they are doing so by bringing very competitive pricing to the mix. Selling for (as of mid-December 2017) $1,099.00, the BenQ SW271, is a 27” (diagonal), 16:9 aspect ratio, 4K UHD monitor with an on-board color calibration chip. It is a powerful shot across the bows of the justly acclaimed, but very expensive, Eizo ColorEdge CG and NEC PA monitor series.

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Review: Peak Design Slide Lite Strap II (On the Sony a6000)

The new Peak Design Slide Lite strap is Peak’s most comfortable strap yet.

With the Peak Design Slide Lite strap, you’ve got a brand new option and some cool innovations from the favorite company of many outdoors photographers. The Peak Design Slide Lite strap is a camera strap designed for lighter cameras–like mirrorless options. But to be honest, I think that it’s more than good enough for most APS-C DSLRs. It uses Peak Designs quick release system and has soft seat belt webbing along the entire area of the strap. Additionally, the Peak Design Slide Lite strap has a very quiet but subtle handsomeness to it that in my mind actually makes it sort of stylish.

But most of all, it is adjustable and not necessarily caters to the less curvy photographer–or, you know, the one who wears a lot of layers in the winter.

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Quick Review: Manfrotto Magnetic Background Mount and Lastolite Urban Collapsible Concrete Backdrop

The Manfrotto Magnetic Background Mount and Lastolite Urban Collapsible Concrete Backdrop have seriously changed my opinion about using backdrops.

This post may sound like an ad, but it genuinely isn’t as I’ve followed FTC laws since the first days of this blog. Instead, it’s just heartfelt praise for pretty much everything about the system (with the exception of folding the damn backdrop back down into a portable configuration). Many photographers probably have some sort of at home studio setup. I know some who use paper and I’ve always instead reached for muslins and canvas. In fact, it’s not unusual for me to go around Etsy to find painter’s canvases that were on the floor to prevent paint from damaging said floor, cashmere blankets, Persian rugs, etc. But with the Manfrotto Magnetic Background Mount and Lastolite Concrete Backdrop, you get a real solution to a problem you never really thought you had simply because we’ve been doing things in a certain way for so long. Backdrops typically need to be thrown over a bar of some sort and then adjusted. But with this combination, you can throw that idea out the window.

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