We know that photography can be an expensive hobby, not to mention career. We also know that there's a lot of cool new photo equipment hitting the market every day, and that it's hard to know which new products are the best investment. That's why we're putting together this list of the hottest new gadgets and gear, to help you get the most out of your heard-earned dollars on the equipment you need (or just really want). Here's the list for this month:
If you've used a hand strap and couldn't quite get the hang of it, I assure you it wasn't this one. One look at the unique design is all it takes to realize this one is different - and by different, I mean better.
With its "S"-shaped strap, it provides comfort and flexibility that the others don't, giving you the freedom to reach camera controls while keeping a solid grip on the camera. Snap on the included writst strap and you're locked on, but still able to move freely.
It provides comfort, proper weight support and it's engineered to give you access to card slots and battery compartments. It attaches to any tripod plate, it's made with genuine leather and comes in a range of cool colors, too.
Whether you're printing your shots or simply editing, color accuracy is critical. There's only one way to make sure your monitor is displaying the colors of your photos accurately and that's calibration. Here's the newest and best way to get the job done, from the guys that revolutionized the process.
Full calibration takes as little as 5 minutes and you can give your screen a monthly "checkup" in even less time. The unit is completely portable and utilizes a patented optical engine that delivers up to 55% response improvement.
3 models are available, offering a range of software options, room light monitoring, video standards, multiple monitor matching and much, much more.
This is one of the best investments you can make in the quality of your photos.
If you travel and need a lightweight, study tripod that works for just about any setup in the field or studio, look no further.
The center column rotates quickly and easily for off-center setups and compact storage. 5-section, aluminum alloy legs that lock at 3 different angles to give you an incredible range of height on any terrain. The ball head and soft, grippable rubber handle round out the versatility and it features a built in bubble level as well as a Arca-Swiss plate. This one really is ready for any shooting situation.
While we're on the subjects of photography, travel and awesome gear from Vanguard, here's an incredible value in backpacks. After all, you're going to need a place to carry that awesome new tripod, right?
This compact, rugged pack is perfect for carrying your camera along with your walkaround lens and a telephoto, along with a compact tripod. The side carrying system will easily secure your tripod, or use the detachable belt to strap it to the bottom and use the side storage for your long lens.
There's lots of room for accessories, thanks to plenty of compartments with removable, padded dividers. Bad weather? No propblem; there's a rain cover, too.
It's not flashy; it's just comfortable, solid protection for your gear when you're traveling light.
Alright, so this one isn't really a piece of equipment. It's a very hot item and a great new way to make money with your photography, though. What could be more valuable than that?
The idea is simple, you simply take photos of random people you meet during your outings and leave them a promo card with a link to your gallery. You upload the photos, they find the ones they like and purchase them.
It's simple, it's fun and you get to meet new people and show off your camera skills. Check it out. The account is free.
It's easy to forget to have fresh batteries on hand for your flash, triggers and other equipment powered by AA's. Not only is it a pain to carry alkaline replacements, it's tough to dispose of them, too.
Thanks to Panasonic's Eneloop Pro line of AA batteries, solving that problem is as easy as recharging the battery for your DSLR. You can recharge these high-capacity cells up to 500 times and they'll retain as much as 85% of their charge after a year. They even come pre-charged, right out of the package.
By the way, these batteries are charged at the factory with solar power, so you'll be doing your part for the environment in more ways than one.
You're going to need a reliable, multi-cell charger to get the most out of these and we've found two of the best for you:
The Powerex MH-C800S is an 8-Cell smart charger with 2 modes and deep discharge capability. The Powerex MH-C801D offers all the same features plus a 1-hour rapid charge option. Both come with universal adapters that let you use them anywhere in the world.
Neutral Density filters give you a great way to add some awesome effects to your photos, from those dreamy, long exposures of moving water, to removing people from your shots. The problem is, there are lots of choices when it comes to the darkening power of ND filters, and they generally aren't cheap.
There's finally a high-quality, variable ND filter available from Promaster that will give you good results and won't break the bank. It gives you great range (ND3 to ND400) in one filter with a rotating adjustment ring.
Unlike some alternative variables, this filter is manufactured with hardened optical glass and Promaster's anti-reflection and protective coatings. It's fitted in a low-profile, non-reflective metal frame and the glass is rimmed with black.
If you want great quality in a variable ND filter without a huge price tag, do yourself a favor and check this one out.
If you're in the market for a compact tripod - and we think every photogrpaher should have one - this one has the quality and features pros will appreciate and a price that hobbyists and amateurs can live with.
It's Manfrotto's lightest aluminum tripod in this class and closes to a mere 17.7" in length. How's that for compact? The legs are equipped with twist locks, rather than lever locks, making it even easier to stow.
The column tilts 90 degrees to give you more versatility in setup, and you can activate that mechanism with a single finger. Combine that with the 4 leg angles, and this one will let you get down low like no other compact.
If you need a compact for your camera or even to hold lighting or reflectors, we highly recommend checking this one out.
You've seen these featured on our site before and with good reason - they're awesome.
We all have creative slumps - times when there's just no great idea for the next photography project. These unique cards deliver inspiration with a new creative idea for every week of the year. 52 cards for 52 weeks. These aren't just any random ideas, either; they're projects from award-winning photograher Paul Michael Kane.
If you want to keep your creative spark alive, you really owe it to yourself to check out this product.
The original SpiderPro camera holster from Spider is still one of the best carrying systems we know of, and a super value.
It's fast, secure and versatile. It's also easier on your back than lugging around a heavy rig on a neck strap. The holster lets you keep the camera at your hip, ready for a quick draw when the shot comes up.
The line has been expanded to include an Arca-Swiss rig and an expansion system that lets you carry two rigs, one on each side. If you haven't checked on these rigs in a while, go look at the improvements. If you haven't seen them, you need to.