A Bag Full of Sadness. Manfrotto Advanced Active III Review

When it comes to camera bags, I’m incredibly proud of the work we’ve done here at The Phoblographer. We’ve arguably reviewed the most camera bags of any publication. And our team comes in a variety of body shapes, plus we’re of different genders. I’ve been reviewing Manfrotto bags for a long time, and they always seem to do something that doesn’t get it quite right. That’s what I experienced with the Manfrotto Advanced Active III for the most part. I purposely held off on writing this for a month. Why? I wanted to sit with my feelings on it and step away from the experience. But after some time away, I still feel the same.

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It’s Surprisingly Colossal: Manfrotto Pro Light Tough Tripod Bag Review

Most photographers automatically protect their camera with a padded bag — but what about the tripod? My own tripod is, admittedly, a little beat up from just being tossed in the bed of my pick-up truck. When I saw Manfrotto had launched a dedicated tripod bag to go along with the new accessories to their Tough series hard cases, I decided to give my tripod a much-needed break from the bumps and test it out. The Manfrotto Pro Light Tough Tripod bag uses a roll-top design that allows the bag to expand to accommodate more tripod sizes.

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Affordable and Unexpected: Manfrotto Street Waist Bag Review

I typically prefer backpacks for camera gear. But, when I knew I would be shooting a 10-hour wedding while seven months pregnant, I invested in a waist belt with lens pouches. I parked the heavy backpack, but could quickly access the essentials without adding additional weight to my back. My son is now two-and-a-half, yet I still switch from my backpack to a waist belt for long wedding days. So when Manfrotto announced the new Street Camera Waist Bag — in one of my favorite colors — I was eager to try it out.

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It’s Survival Tested: Manfrotto Pro Light Tough 55 Review

I’ve had my fair share of airline baggage horror stories. I was once on an island for a week with no luggage and only a Kmart to clothe myself with because my bag had literally ripped into two pieces. (I know, it’s no Tom Hanks Castaway story, but it is true.) Since then, hard cases have always appealed to me for air travel. But, the most durable of cases typically don’t have smaller pockets for personal items or even a place to stash a laptop or tripod. That’s why the launch of Manfrotto’s new Pro Light Tough series caught my attention. The Manfrotto Pro Light Tough 55 case can pair with an add-on laptop sleeve, tripod case, or even a backpack harness system.

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Like Magic, This Bag Converts: Manfrotto Advanced Hybrid III Review

Backpacks distribute weight on both shoulders for more comfort, but shoulder bags offer fast access to gear. For photographers stuck in the middle, there’s the Manfrotto Advanced Hybrid III camera bag. Part backpack, part shoulder bag, the Advanced Hybrid III allows photographers to convert from a backpack to a shoulder bag with just a few zips and clips. But, is the Manfrotto Advanced Hybrid III a useful convertible, or is it a bag that’s just stuck in the middle?

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A New and Unique Mount Ecosystem – Manfrotto Move QR Review

In any discussion about tripods and monopods, the name Manfrotto is sure to crop up. At the top of many professional photographers’ accessory lists, the brand has been around for close to six decades. Synonymous with quality and durability, many products proudly display the “Made In Italy” branding. And not one to deviate from this norm is their all-new Manfrotto Move Quick Release ecosystem of “interconnectable parts and products.” It’s an innovative system designed to help photo and video shooters move their cameras between sliders, tripods, and gimbals.

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Make Your Photowalks Lighter – Manfrotto Street Slim Backpack Review

It looked like just another photo backpack when I took it out of its packaging. It had the finishing quality we’re used to seeing from Manfrotto’s products. While they’re better known for their durable tripod range, Manfrotto does have a large variety of camera bags under its brand umbrella. They refreshed their Street camera bag lineup in October this year, and I opted to review the Street Slim Backpack model. Having only ever used larger, heavier backpacks (that I mainly bought for travel) while out on the streets, I was hoping this would be a refreshing change. It didn’t disappoint. But how did the Street Slim backpack hold up during a walk around the streets of old Dubai?

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Why You Actually Need a Dedicated Camera Bag, Not Just an Insert

A camera bag serves a much bigger and better purpose than just a bag with an insert.

Confession: I’ve failed to find the perfect camera bag. Here at The Phoblographer, we’ve probably reviewed the most camera bags on the market. Of course, we stand by ethical statements and won’t review some brands, but we’re pretty comprehensive. Everyone makes good camera bags. No one makes a perfect camera bag, at least for me. Many have gotten very close. But when I couldn’t find what I wanted, I started modifying camera bags to fit my needs. All of them failed over time. I’m writing this piece because of many folks who like using regular backpacks or messengers and throwing their cameras in there. But that’s really not the best idea. Here’s why.

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Stijn Hoekstra Explores the Empty Streets of Amsterdam Under Curfew

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“All of these pictures were taken in one night, as a snowstorm covered the Netherlands,” Stijn Hoekstra tells me. It was the winter of 2021, and amid the COVID-19 crisis, the country had imposed a mandatory curfew from 9:00 PM to 4:30 AM. That night, he left home at 9:00 and returned at 3:00 in the morning, exploring the deserted streets and peering into lonely storefronts in silence. 

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How Karyn Easton Captures Mesmerizing Photos of Oil and Water

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“The real inspiration for the series came from the very simple idea that something beautiful could be created with household materials that typically do not mix,” the photographer Karyn Easton tells me. Featuring oil bubbles floating in a water dish, her ongoing series of macro abstracts highlights the tiny miracles that happen every day when two seemingly mundane liquids collide and repel. Even when she found herself homebound amid lockdowns, she discovered this basic concoction–a familiar favorite in childhood science experiments–provided hours of delight and fascination. 

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Cheap Photo: Big Savings on Camera Bags, Tripods, and More

We’ve found deals on photography accessories that can save you big bucks.

If you’re looking for a new camera bag, or if you need a new tripod or SD cards, you’re in luck. We have found some incredible deals on all the above. For a short time, you can pick up the Tenba DNA 15 Messenger for just $138.98. The Think Tank Streetwalker Pro V2 can be yours for $169.79. One of our most well-reviewed bags, the Portage Supply Kenora, has dropped to just $69. You can now get UHS-II SD cards for only $16.11, and you can save over $60 on the Manfrotto BeFree Travel Tripod. Also, if hardware isn’t your thing, maybe these presets for Luminar are up your alley! The deals on these photography accessories will end soon. So, act fast if you want to take advantage of these deals.

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5 Camera Bags Under $100 That We Truly Adore (We Think You Will Too)

These camera bags will blow your mind. Then, you’ll see the price, and you simply won’t believe what you can get for under $100!

Unfortunately, the adage ‘you only get what you pay for’ is still around and believed by many, but honestly, in most cases, this simply isn’t true anymore. We have seen affordable cameras that are feature-packed and that are strong performers that cost little compared to cameras of yesteryear, and we have seen the same with camera lenses too. You simply do not have to spend crazy money to get quality products now. Fortunately, this also applies to camera bags. We hunted down some of the most affordable camera bags on the market and put them through our real-world tests, and we discovered some real gems! After the break, we will share with you five camera bags that cost less than $100 that will honestly blow your mind.

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6 Tripods for Landscape Photography and Great Spring Photos

If you want to capture the beautiful colors that this time of year brings, these tripods for landscape photography are going to help.

For lovers of landscape photography, there is nothing better than seeing long winter months give way to warmer days of spring and the beautiful colors that come with it. To capture all the detail in the magnificence around you, you’re going to need a tripod that can help get the most out of the powerful sensor in your camera. In this roundup, we will take a quick look at six tripods for all budgets that will help you create memorable pictures of spring landscapes.

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Four Affordable, Manual Focus, Wide Angle Lenses for Land and Cityscapes

These wide angle lenses are razor sharp, and they’re priced right too.


The great thing about landscape photography is that it’s a genre that can be participated in year round. You can head back to the same locations four times a year and you can capture different shots each time thanks to the changing seasons. You can also adventure and find new places to shoot all the time as well. The possibilities are endless. Another great thing about landscape photography is that you don’t need to break the bank on lenses that will allow you to get amazing shots. These four manual focusing, wide angle lenses that we will be sharing with you are all ridiculously sharp, and because they’re manual focus, they’re half the price of some similar autofocusing lenses. Join us after the break to see which four we recommend. Continue reading…

4 Tripods Under $200 That Will Help You Compose Better Images

Good tripods can go really help you take your photography to whole new level.

Spending up to $200 on a tripod may seem a little crazy to some; I mean you can go and grab one at your local food store for $50, so why pay up to $200? Do you really want to put thousands of dollars worth of camera equipment on an all plastic tripod? I know I wouldn’t want to do that. The risk is too great. For $200, and in some cases a little less, you can get quality aluminum and carbon fiber tripods that come equipped with ball heads, counter weights, and premium leather coverings that can support up to 17lbs worth of equipment. Quality tripods are worth they’re weight in gold. After the break we’ll show you four tripods that offer incredible value for money.

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Manfrotto Adds New 2N1 Tripod to Monopod to Befree Collection

The Manfrotto Befree 2N1 is a new option for photographers on-the-go who are looking for a versatile and reliable travel tripod for their next adventures. 

Every travel and landscape photographer knows that a stable and sturdy tripod is a staple for working in the field. If you’ve been eyeing the Manfrotto Befree tripods, you might want to check out the collection’s latest addition. Dubbed as the most versatile model in the popular travel tripod line, the new Manfrotto Befree 2N1 boasts of being an all-in-one solution that easily converts from a tripod into a monopod in just a few steps.

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Manfrotto Announces the Modular Noreg Camera Bag Collection

If modular is the way to go for your camera bags, Manfrotto’s newly announced Noreg Collection could be an attractive option.

While modular camera bags aren’t new, manufacturers are still experimenting with various ways to make them more sleek and streamlined. The latest of these is the Noreg Collection; Manfrotto’s new modular camera bag collection that allows you to mix and match components to create a bag that fits exactly what you need. Whether it’s for work or for travel, the Noreg Bags look promising for photographers always on the go.

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Manfrotto Adds Three Premium Models to Their Befree Traveler Tripods

Manfrotto gives professionals on the go more options by adding three premium models to their award-winning traveler tripods.

If you’re doing a lot of travel photography, landscape photography, and videography, you might be interested in Manfrotto’s latest additions to their Befree traveler tripods. Now, professional photographers and videographers have more options with the release of the carbon fiber versions of the Befree Advanced, Befree Live, and the new Befree GT collection.

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Review: Manfrotto BeFree Compact Travel Aluminum Alloy Tripod (Black)

The Manfrotto BeFree Compact Travel Aluminum Alloy Tripod is incredibly robust and very reliable.

During my review of the Manfrotto BeFree Compact Travel Aluminum Alloy Tripod, I started to wonder more and more why photographers actually need tripods these days. Just think about it: newer cameras and lenses have image stabilization in them. Why would I really need a tripod today if I wasn’t shooting video? Landscape photographers have had the answer for years. Tripods like the Manfrotto BeFree Compact Travel Aluminum Alloy Tripod are fantastic compositional tools in the same way that manual focus lenses force you to put more time into the image making process. They require you to think in a different way and really work to get what’s important to you. It may mean moving back and forth, adjustments, etc. Otherwise, you don’t need to make those movements unless you have a specific goal in mind. And a tripod like the Manfrotto BeFree Compact Travel Aluminum Alloy Tripod can surely help with this due to its light weight and awesome build quality.

But one really big thing about it annoys me.

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No More Fumbling with Your RC2 Tripod Plate with this Simple Hack

Screenshot image from the tripod plate trick video by Ken Wheeler

Ever had a problem figuring out which way your RC2 tripod plate should go in dimly lit shooting conditions? You probably didn’t think about solving all the hassle and fumbling about with this quick and easy tripod plate trick…until now! If you’ve ever did a shoot in a not so bright location, one of the little, annoying things that you must have struggled with or threw you off your shoot is not properly seeing the right way to mount your tripod plate on your camera. Sure, your tripod most likely has indented guides and arrows to show you the way to do it. But, more often than not, it’s a hassle when you’re doing a quick shoot and don’t have the time to look for a brighter light source and check out the “right way.”

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