- Control aperture, shutter, ISO
- Take photos
- Record video
- Preview image thumbnails
- Basic timelapse
- Advanced timelapse (exposure/interval ramping)
- Long Exposure
- Control multiple cameras
- HDR bracketing
- Firmware upgradeable
If there's one thing that I've learned the hard way during my years in photography, it's that the term “must have” is thrown around an awful lot. The list of things I must have is really pretty short. I'm going to share the top 3 of maybe 10 items that I actually apply that label to.
Now, some of the must-haves have been on my list for many years and some have only recently been added because they've proven to be invaluable in the first few times I've used them. I also want to say right up front that some of the items are going to seem very obvious to some readers. In those cases, please take the time to read my reasons and I hope you'll see why I insist on listing them. Ready? Here we go!
If you haven't heard of this yet, you will. This gizmo is at the top of the list because I will never, ever be without it. You see, there are times when I don't want to be bothered with lugging around a tripod, for various reasons. There have also been countless times I've wished I'd brought one along.
With this, the most recent addition to my list, I no longer have to worry. The HandlePod will fit in a pocket, although I find there's more than enough room in any of my camera bags. Because of its unique configuration, I can use it to stabilize my camera or camcorder in just about any situation. It can be tied to a support using the included elastic cord, balanced on its 4 rubber feet, held against a support by hand or hand-held, depending on what's available. It's as steady as a tripod in almost any situation and always there, ready to use for that sunset, moon shot or action shot, no matter when or where. Get the details and I know you're going to want one, too.
You guessed it; this is one of those items that should be obvious. Here's the thing: you need more than just a lens pen or some cleaning fluid and tissues. Lens cleaning isn't always the same and you need to be prepared to do it according to the situation.
For example, I live in a coastal area. If you've ever had camera gear on the coast, then you know that every time you take off your lens cap, you can expect to end up with a salty, gritty film on your lens. To remove that film you need to first eliminate grit with a blower brush, then use a good solution and a microfiber cloth. If you simply grab your lens pen at the beach, I guarantee you'll create micro-scratches in your lens coatings.
You need to have everything pictured above available to clean your lenses. Fortunately, you can get it all in this kit.
Here's one that should be obvious, but I'm always surprised at the number of photographers out there without simple rain jackets for their equipment. I can tell you firsthand that “weather sealed” doesn't always mean “weatherproof”. Whether you're shooting with a cheap kit or a pro DSLR with high-end glass, risking its demise because of a sudden downpour or sandstorm is, in a word, foolish. That's especially true when just a few bucks' worth of protection can make all the difference. Check out this universal 2-pack and don't go out without one again.
This item literally came in after I sent this article to publishing and I “stopped the presses” to check it out, after which I simply had to add it to the list!
Wireless remotes are a dime a dozen, and there are plenty of great ones out there. What Alpine Labs realized, however is that you're already carrying a very capable, sophisticated device that can control your camera and do much more, if only your camera was equipped to communicate with it.
Thanks to their latest brain child, Pulse, that can be a reality and you're going to love how it enables remote control like nothing else. Take a look at this list of capabilities:
Try to find an over-the-counter remote that gives you all of this, and then consider the fact that you don't have to carry another hand-held device – just the receiver that mounts on your DSLR's hot shoe with its own USB connection. Need a little more incentive? It's got a battery life of 24 hours and you can charge it via USB. Wireless image previews. Bluetooth connectivity. More than 60 compatible cameras. Android and iOS support. I could go on and on, but you really should just go check it out for yourself. Here's the website.
So that's it. It's not an extensive or expensive list, but if you're out there without any of these gadgets, you can't blame me for saying “I told you so.”