Comfortable. Practical. Award-Winning. Morally Toxic Valkyrie 25L Review

The camera bag world is truly fascinating. The camera world itself has shrunk. Fewer people are buying dedicated cameras, according to sales data of the past decade. But camera bags are ever more proliferated. With the addition of the brand new Morally Toxic company, the folks behind 3 Legged thing are getting into the game. Their Morally Toxic Valkyrie 25L was designed and had input by a team of men and women. What’s more, the folks are all different sizes and shapes. And perhaps this is what helps to make the Morally Toxic Valkyrie 25L a genuinely fantastic bag.

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This Bag Has a Big Flaw. Sunny 16 Voyager Camera Bag Review

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The most wonderful thing about the Sunny 16 Voyager is that it ends up being incredibly comfortable. Your gear inside may be a hot mess, getting a camera out through the side will be puzzling, the hardware is oddly constructed, and the waist straps may end up falling off by accident. But despite all of this, the Sunny 16 Voyager is like an awkward hug filled with love and comfort if you’re open to it. Think of a teenager that’s close to you in your life before the stage of them being too cool to hug their adult peers. It’s awkward. It’s weird. But the Sunny 16 Voyager is also the new kid on the block. And they have yet to grow into their own skin. It’s lovable nonetheless. 

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Wow Speed, Great Durability, ’Meh’ Design: HP ZBook Power G8 Review

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For photographers, choosing a laptop is often a balance between power and price. The HP ZBook Power G8 is designed to fit in that balance. The Power line isn’t as robust a performer as HP’s Fury line, but it’s a step up from the more portable Firefly and Studio lines. With the base model starting at $1,899, it is $500 less than a MacBook Pro with the same storage. Heading all the way up to $3,149 for the most memory, the Power G8 isn’t a cheap laptop. But, it offers a lot of high-end performance without the highest price tag.

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Is The New Razer Blade the Most Powerful Laptop for Photographers?

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It isn’t often that I get hyped about PCs for photographers, but Razer is one of those brands that’s slowly winning me over. When going through this press deck, I audibly exclaimed, “What!” out loud. That’s because the new Razer Blade 17 is packing in a whole lot of formidable power into a laptop. Many of us photographers have been looking for a good replacement for our laptops and are really sick of the dongle life. I was driving myself crazy for an hour just yesterday, looking for the right cable for my iMac. And the Razer Blade 17 is doing a whole lot to help me and potentially other photographers.

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3 Tools to Help Photographers Deliver Their Best Images

These tools are great for the photographer who isn’t stuck in the Mac ecosystem.

Many photographers have felt a little burned by Apple in the past few years. So, we experimented with various computers, printers, and monitors to cater to this. Many photographers end up never jumping ship because they don’t even know where to start. They care about a few things: ergonomics, the performance of their favorite programs, and ease of use. For the past few years, we dove into exploring some of the best computers for creatives. But we didn’t stop there: we look at printers and monitors too. Here are some of the best tools we’ve used in the past year. We’ve used these to deliver the best images to clients and also for our coverage.

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The New Razer Blade 15 Advanced Has Something Photographers Want

The new Razer Blade 15 Advanced is showing a whole lot of promise for photographers.

The last Razer Blade 15 laptop we reviewed was back in 2020, and we really liked it! Razer has been known for appealing to gamers, but in recent years they’ve been making moves in the creative space. Today, they’re introducing the new Razer Blade 15 Advanced. It’s important to note that they have keyboards more akin to what we’re used to with Apple computers. They’re also bringing Wifi 6, a UHS-III SD Card Reader, a full HD webcam, two Thunderbolt 4.0 ports, and USB-C charging. This sounds positively fantastic and very promising.

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This Powerful PC Has a Gorgeous Screen: HP ZBook Firefly G8 Review

The HP ZBook Firefly G8 offers solid performance and a beautiful screen, but has some ergonomic oddities.

For creatives, choosing a laptop is a delicate balance between ergonomics, performance, and price. The HP ZBook Firefly G8 prioritizes the latter two, mixing as much as 32 GB of memory in builds that are nearly half the cost of a similarly outfitted MacBooks. Weighing as little as 3.1 pounds, the ZBook Firefly G8 has several features photographers look for in laptops. But, the Firefly goes a little further with extras like an eco-friendly recycled build and an anti-glare screen. The specification sheet rarely shows a complete picture, so I spent a few weeks with the ZBook Firefly G8 to see if the laptop stacks up as a worthwhile option for creatives.

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Is It Good For Photographers? Lenovo Yoga 9i 15-inch Review

The Lenovo Yoga 9i offers a lot of promise for photographers but falls flat in some ways.

When it was announced, I wondered how the Lenovo Yoga 9i would do for photographers. Like many of you, I still own a 2015 13-inch MacBook Pro. That, for us, was the best laptop you could get your hands on for photography. But we’re now six years later. And PCs have come a long way. Unfortunately, they’re not all still appealing to photographers. The Lenovo Yoga 9i is targeted at both gamers and creatives. Lenovo got a whole lot right about this laptop. But they also did some things that made me not want to use it at all.

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The New HP ZBook Firefly G8 Targets Photographers Using Macbooks

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Every time I hear about laptops targeting creatives, I get really excited. The new HP ZBook Firefly G8 seems to be targeted Macbook users pretty hard. Specifically, in their press release, they claim the weight of their 14-inch variant to be around that of a MacBook Pro 13″! That’s impressive. As a working journalist, I’ve always preferred 13-inch laptops. But I’m very intrigued if I can get more real estate for the same weight.

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Here Are the Advantages a Messenger Bag Has for Photographers

Most photographers swear by their messenger bags.

How does the saying go? You can pry it from my cold, dead hands, right? Well, that’s how some photographers feel about their messenger bags. Messenger bags have a unique appeal to those who want to be more fashionable or old school. They’re very functional and have lots of uses. The wider ones can act as a platform for doing other things. They also can hold all the gear you really need. We’ve reviewed a ton of them over the past decade. So in this infographic, you’ll learn what we’ve come to know.

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Their Most Gorgeous Bag Yet! Billingham Hadley One Review

The Billingham Hadley One now comes in navy and brown–and it’s beautiful.

It’s hard to not be a fan of navy and brown leather. They work so well together. And the Billingham Hadley One is getting just that color scheme today. I haven’t seen it done this well in years, and this one is exceptional. The Billingham Hadley One isn’t a new bag. But it has given so many photographers high reliability, so you’ve got a winner. Billingham has long created bags for journalists and photographers. But they’ve fallen out of favor in the past few years. You can blame Kickstarters and more flash marketing tactics for that. The Billingham Hadley One is one of those classics that you don’t really need to improve on, though. In a world where mirrorless cameras and lenses are dominating the market, the Billingham Hadley One is a welcome option. Besides being very functional, it’s durable. This bag is also surprisingly comfortable when packed to the brim with cameras and lenses. If I haven’t said it enough, it’s also incredibly alluring.

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The HP ZBook Fury 17 Has Something Every Photographer Wants

The new HP ZBook Fury 17 should be taken seriously by photographers.

Most working photographers prefer desktops with larger screens. But you can’t always have that. And the HP ZBook Fury 17 seems to have most of what a photographer will need. It’s gargantuan, and there aren’t many camera bags that can even support a 17.3-inch laptop. You can customize the HP ZBook Fury 17 to be more potent than your iMac. It can boast up to 128GB of RAM, 2TB of Hard Drive space, and can use a 10th generation Intel i5, i7, i9, or Xeon processor. Depending on the display you choose, you can also cover 100% of the DCI-P3 spectrum. HP is also providing a choice between AMD Radeon or NVIDIA graphics. All these sound great, but the HP ZBook Fury 17 still has an even better feature for photographers.

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A Photographer Needs to Spend $3,298.99 to Justify 13 Inch MacBook Pro

Apple announced its new 13 inch Macbook Pro and got rid of the 15 inch variant.

In some ways, the new 13 inch Macbook Pro doesn’t seem like a bad deal at all for a photographer. When you consider the long term investment, Mac products last a long time for many of us, and they’re able to run lots of software better unless you fully customize a PC. Today, Apple announced their new 13 inch MacBook Pro computer and effectively got rid of the 15 inch variant–giving us only the 13 inch and the 16 inch options. If you want the base model, you’re going to be pretty out of luck if you’re a photographer. Lots of us need higher-end performance not only for photo editing but also because we shoot video or cinemagraphs. The base model is still the 8th generation i5, and to get any 10th gen processor, you need to spend at least $1,800 extra above the $1,299 initial pricing.

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Laptop Review: Razer Blade 15 Studio Edition (Photographers Rejoice!)

The Razer Blade 15 Studio Edition deserves serious consideration from photographers and creatives in search of a MacBook Pro alternative.

From a cursory glance, it’s easy to mistake the mercury white Razer Blade 15 Studio Edition laptop for a MacBook Pro. The only real giveaway is the lack of a glowing apple on the Razer’s lid. Apple’s line of MacBook Pro laptops has been the go-to option for photographers and creatives for quite some time. But an increasing amount of this user base has been jumping ship to Windows alternatives in recent years. Apple’s general lack of innovation, disappointing price to performance ratio, as well as the company’s heavy-handed walled garden approach to hardware and software development are just some of the reasons cited by those making the exodus from Macs to Windows.

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Before You Edit Your Photos, You Should Check This Out

From December 16th to the 29th, the Datacolor Spyder is being discounted and can help you get better-looking photos.

If you’re one of those photographers who makes more magic happen in post-production than in-camera, then the Datacolor Spyder is the perfect accessory for you. Before you take what that new YouTube tutorial taught you and put it to work, consider whether everyone is seeing your image the same. Have you warmed up your monitor? What about the light around you? And where are people viewing your images? The Datacolor Spyder can help you get consistent colors in your photos every time. And right now, you can save up to $100 on color management!

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An 8-Core Surface Laptop 3 Could Be What Photographers Need

The Surface Laptop 3 might be powered by an 8-Core AMD processor that would churn through RAW files with ease.

Cameras have become much more powerful in the last couple of years, and as a result of this, they create much larger RAW files than they used to. This is a good thing: it means that the images captured are packed with detail that would not be there otherwise. The downside to this is that you need more powerful computers to process these images efficiently. Fortunately, computers are also becoming much more potent. Microsoft may be readying an AMD powered Surface Laptop 3 that will handle huge RAW files without breaking much of a sweat. Continue reading…

Review: Datacolor SpyderX Elite (Their Best and Their Most Behind Product Yet)

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The Datacolor SpyderX Elite is mostly the same product as its predecessor with a few major improvements.

If you were to ask most journalists, editors, and photographers about how often they calibrate their computer displays, I’m positive that the answer would be never–though the Datacolor SpyderX Elite should give them a number of reasons at least to consider it. The most recently updated product from Datacolor includes a few big design changes and deviations from the previous products. For the creatives who have been using the Spyder units for years, you’ll be happy to know that it operates mostly the same. But in terms of future proofing and reaching out to a newer generation of creatives, there are some obvious and glaring problems with the new Datacolor SpyderX Elite. A number of competitors have popped up in the most recent years to include pretty revolutionary features to the genre of products. But what’s perhaps the Datacolor SpyderX Elite’s biggest problem is the displays that they’re catering so hard towards.

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Camera Bag Review: Tenba Cooper DSLR Backpack

The Tenba Cooper DSLR Backpack is fantastic, but I wish they developed a version for the working travel photographer.

Perhaps products that I spend the most time on for reviews here at the Phoblographer could be camera bags. In fact, I spent two months reviewing the Tenba Cooper DSLR Backpack before I decided to sit at my desk and pen this review. The Tenba Cooper Slim messenger bag was well loved by us, but what they were severely lacking was a backpack style of camera bag. Having admittedly seen the prototype of this a few years ago under non-disclosure, I was quite surprised with how the final version of the Tenba Cooper Backpack DSLR edition turned out. The final bag is one designed for city photographers who have a bit more time to churn out their images. It won’t accommodate a 13 or 15 inch laptop. Instead, it barely fits an iPad Air 2. Instead, it’s more specifically designed to hold your gear and any other necessities that you need while out and about.

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Camera Bag Review: Oliday Journeyman (The Bag I Keep Coming Back To)

The Oliday Journeyman has become one of my absolute favorite camera bags.

I tend to go through camera bags pretty often, but one of the few that has stuck with me for over a year is the Oliday Journeyman. If you came to my office and saw my closet, you’d see just how many camera bags I’ve collected. It’s pretty insane. But most of them just stay there in the closet–like a number of other reviewers. It’s rare that I’d actually go out and buy one, but I was intrigued by the Oliday Journeyman and so decided to give it a shot. Made with leather and canvas, this bag balances both style and functionality in a way that is practical for a variety of reasons.

Is it perfect? No. But it’s very close.

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Lowepro Announces New Freeline BP 350 AW Daypack for Content Creators

Lowepro has been in the camera bag business for over 50 years and the Freeline is their latest innovation

Content creators are a unique group of individuals in today’s world. They are a demographic that includes photographers, videographers, writers and a lot of other related fields, but one thing that surely ties them all together is the need to carry around a lot of gear that makes that content creation process possible. Everything from laptops to cameras, to lights, to microphones; content creators love their gear and need it with them virtually everywhere they go. So for that reason, Lowepro has developed their new FreeLine BP 350 AW daypack. Continue reading…