imovr Photography Articles

Best Items Photographers Need to Invest In

best items photographers need to invest in

Photo by evgenyatamanenko via iStock

There are plenty of obvious things you need to invest in as a photographer, like a good camera body, solid lenses, a tripod, and so forth.

But there are plenty of other items you should add to your list of things to get if you want to streamline your workflow and make the most of the images you take.

Specifically, you need a good office setup with a capable computer, a monitor that allows you to multitask without hurting your eyes, various backup storage options, and so forth.

I've been at this a long time and have tested all kinds of office gear along the way. Here are just a few of my recommendations for the best items photographers need to invest in.

A Good Computer

items photographers should invest in computer

The brains of your operation (other than you, of course!) is your computer. As such, it needs to be as high-powered a unit as you can afford. After all, processing images and videos takes a lot of juice, and your old Chromebook simply won't cut it.

And for my tastes, a high-powered laptop is the way to go, that way you can bring your workstation with you on the road.

If you're a Mac person, I highly recommend the 16-inch Macbook Pro.

I have the 2.4GHz 8-Core Intel Core i9 version with 64GB of RAM. It also has a Radeon Pro 5500M 8GB Intel UHD video card, which is the best Apple offers at this point. It's not the greatest video card of all time, but so far, it's gotten the job done just fine.

I've been a Mac user for a long time, and this is the latest in a long line of Macbook Pros that I've had. It has proven to be the most capable of the bunch and offers me the speed, dependability, and portability that I want.

On the other hand, if you're a PC person, the Razer Blade 15 Studio is tough to beat.

This computer is designed for gaming, but I've found it to be a perfect addition to my home office to tackle hard-core video processing tasks with ease.

This particular model has a 6-core Intel i9 processor with 32GB of RAM, and 1TB of SSD storage.

But the eye-popping spec on this laptop is the NVIDIA Quadro 5000 GPU...

This graphics card is one of the best money can buy - it's like Hollywood-level stuff!

If your business includes a lot of video work, I highly recommend that you take a long, hard look at this machine.

I've been a PC skeptic for a long time because I could never find the one PC laptop that could do everything I needed it to do...until this thing!

A Boost for Your Graphics Card

razer core x chroma

If you already have a laptop that you love but that's lacking in the graphics card department, you might consider investing in the Razer Core X Chroma eGPU.

This bad boy helps put a supercharge into your laptop's video card, that way you get a true desktop-grade video experience.

It comes with plug-and-play support for a wide range of graphics cards on PCs and Macs.

Though this gadget is intended to give gaming systems a power boost, I've found it to be incredibly helpful for my video editing work.

A Better Display

When I first started in this business I had a Macbook Pro 13-inch laptop. I didn't use a Bluetooth keyboard. I didn't have a mouse. I didn't have an external monitor, either.

That plain Jane setup was all I could afford back then, but it certainly wasn't ideal for my workflow. My how a decade (and change) has improved my workspace!

For the longest time, I had HP and LG displays, and I thought they were awesome. They were awesome, but now that I'm rocking the display setup you see above, those old displays of mine seem so old and quaint.

These ViewSonic displays (the 38-inch VP3881 on the bottom and the 34-inch VP3481 on the top) have been total game changers. 

Not only do they both offer me all the real estate I need to have split screens and multiple windows open at the same time, but they also have an incredibly sharp display with the most accurate colors I've ever seen on a monitor.

Add in a curved, immersive display, built-in speakers, and the ability to split screens, tile screens, and have multiple views open on both screens, and you have the makings of the ideal display setup for photo and video work.

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Backup Storage Options

It goes without saying that you need backup storage options for all your work. And not just one option, either.

I have multiple backups that are part of my workflow, each with a slightly different role.

The big boy, if you will, is my Synology DiskStation DS918+ network attached storage (NAS). This thing has a quad-core Intel Celeron J3455 processor at 1.5GHz, four hot-swappable bays, encrypted file transmission, and is incredibly easy to set up. The Synology operating system is intuitive and easy to use as well. For my money, there is no better NAS.

items photoghraphers should invest in backup

I also have the G-DRIVE 10TB USB-C external hard drive on my desk.

It offers ultra-high-speed data transfers and allows for daisy-chaining for up to five additional devices.

The enterprise-class 7200 RPM hard drive is both fast and reliable, and it's Apple Time Machine compatible. The aluminum case is durable and looks pretty badass too!

sandisk ssd

A third backup storage device I use on the daily is the SanDisk 2TB SSD drive shown above.

This little guy works with my Macbook Pro and my Razer PC and is built like a tank. When I need to work on the road, this is the device I bring with me because it is small, lightweight, and easy to transport. It's a reliable backup too!

A Desk & Chair That Promote Better Health

imovr 1

Photographers do a lot of sitting at their desks, and I for one can't stand to sit for all that long. That's why I invested in an iMovR Lander standing desk.

This desk is beautifully made and hugely functional - it takes just seconds to move the desk from a sitting to a standing height using the onboard paddles or the accompanying smartphone app.

imovr 2

I spend a lot of my day standing now, and my neck, shoulders, and back are the better for it!

Plus, these desks are super durable, well-made, and stand up to the rigors of my daily grind (and having my young son in my office banging his toys around on the desktop).

herman miller chair

When I'm seated, I sit on a Herman Miller Embody desk chair that offers tons of support and provides the ultimate in comfort.

This is actually the second Embody chair I've had over the last 10 years, and I will never go back to having a more traditional desk chair. This thing is expensive, but it is worth every penny as the hours of editing photos and videos drag on!

Apple Magic Keyboard for iPad Pro

As I explain in my video above, I always saw my iPads as more of a novelty or entertainment device than a device I could use for work.

That all changed when I picked up an Apple Magic Keyboard for my iPad Pro.

With this keyboard, my iPad is now a much more functional and useful device for getting work tasks done. It absolutely blows away all the previous iPad keyboards I've tried over the years. It has been one of my favorite additions to my office gear this year - it's that good!

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We Recommend


iMovR Lander Desk Review

setting up an ideal photography workspaceImage Credit: Cecilie_Arcurs via iStock

I've been in the photography business for a while now, and I've learned my fair share of tricks and shortcuts along the way to make my time spent at work more efficient.

One of the things that's been vital to me having the most productive day possible is setting up an ideal photography workspace - not just a place where I edit family photos on the weekend, but a place where I can talk with clients and do the heavy lifting of running a photography business.

Something I learned very early on is that the type of workspace you create can profoundly impact your state of mind when it comes to work.

When your workspace is organized and functional, a lot can get done in a day. When it's a cluttered mess, well, the opposite is usually the case.

woman using computer and mobile phone at desk picture id596568595Image Credit: Morsa Images via iStock

There are a lot of components of having an ideal photography workspace - good lighting, peace and quiet, a nice, big monitor to see your work, and so forth.

But far and away the most important aspect of my workspace has been my desk.

About 10 years ago, I decided to invest in a tried-and-true (and very expensive) Workrite sit-stand desk.

At the time, this thing was considered the Rolls Royce of ergonomic desks. But it was time for a change.

In thinking about my experience with Workrite, I kept coming back to how incredibly difficult it was to put that desk together.

I love working with my hands and know my way around a toolbox, but that desk still required about four hours of my life to put together. It was a frustrating experience, to say the least.

So when I began looking for a new desk, one of the primary features I had to have was something that was easy to put together.

That brought me to iMovR.

iMovR Lander Desk Review: Assembly


 

I'd heard about iMovR before, but I'll admit - I was skeptical about the quality of a desk that costs less than a thousand dollars.

But all the feedback I got from people in the industry pointed to iMovR as being a slam-dunk as far as a great desk goes, so I pulled the trigger and got the iMovR Lander Desk.

Right out of the box, you can see the commitment that iMovR has to quality and craftsmanship. As a proud veteran, it warmed my heart to see the difference in quality between this high-tech, 100% American-made desk and the cheap Chinese-made desks that are heavily advertised online.

Each piece fit together perfectly without any fuss or muss on my part. In fact, these things show up 98-percent assembled. You don't even need any tools to put it together!

And where my Workrite desk consumed an entire afternoon to put together, I had the iMovR completed in less than 10 minutes.

Yep - you read that right! I put this desk together in just minutes. That fact alone was worth the price of admission!

I'm a tall guy, so I ordered leg extensions with my desk. Even factoring in the time it took to put the extensions on, I was still done within half an hour. In other words, there is no comparison between this iMovR desk and my old Workrite desk.

iMovR Lander Desk Review: Features

imovr lander desk review 

Aside from the fact that this thing was super easy to put together, something else that I appreciate about it is that it's loaded for bear with features and options.

You can choose from hundreds of size and color combinations as well as different types of desks - get a standard desktop or one with iMovR's patented SteadyType keyboard tray (shown below), which gives you the utmost in typing comfort, ergonomics, and stability.

 dsc2181 cascadext clovemahogany steadytypecu

The 3D-laminated desktops are incredibly durable and will stand up to the daily use and abuse of work.

Created using precision Computer Numerical Control equipment, these tops provide superior performance, including enhanced protection from moisture and warping. Not only that, but the corners and edges of the top are beautifully contoured, so they look great and offer you a more comfortable work environment too.

The Lander desk is incredibly easy to adjust from a sitting to a standing desk thanks to the intuitive Bluetooth-enabled height-control paddle with high-resolution LCD.

The paddle enables smooth height changes with a simple double-tap or you can raise and lower the desk remotely via a smartphone app.

lander controller clovemahogany 3

Not only that, but this desk has a built-in health coach that gives you reminders to change position throughout the day. The frequency and duration of these changes is set by you via the paddle buttons or the accompanying app.

What's more, these reminders are subtle so as not to interrupt your work. You're gently reminded visually on the paddle display, via a push notification on your phone, or both. See the health coach in action in the video below.

The movement of the desk is gentle as well. With whisper-quiet motors, the desk can lift up to 360 pounds quietly and smoothly so you can continue your work.

The lifting and lowering action is fast, too - 1.6 inches per second!

If you get the desk and treadmill combination, you get the benefit of being able to walk while you work, which is a great third alternative to sitting or standing all day.

iMovR Lander Desk Review: NEAT Certification

imovr neat certification

Sitting at a desk all day has been proven to be bad for your health, which is why I got the Lander Desk in the first place.

Standing is one of the best alternatives to sitting at your desk, and as I explained above, the Lander Desk makes it easy to switch between the two positions.

Since using this desk helps combat the effects of being sedentary, it has earned a NEAT (Non Exercise Activity Thermogenesis) certification.

In other words, you'll find that since you have the ability to change positions so easily you'll be able to increase your heart rate and increase energy expenditure as well.

And while standing at your desk isn't the equivalent of going to the gym, it's certainly a better option than sitting all day long.

iMovR Lander Desk Review: Warranty

imovr lander desk review warranty

On top of all that, iMovR offers a 100-day satisfaction guarantee on all their products, so if for some reason you aren't as blown away by this desk as I am, you can return it.

As for warranty coverage iMovR leads the industry with their ten year warranty on the base and five years on the desktop, a reflection of their quality American-built componentry.

Final Thoughts: iMovR Lander Desk Completes My Office Space

imovr lander desk review features 

I've paired my iMovR Lander desk with a Herman Miller Embody desk chair that's the height of comfort.

Seriously...I've had two desk chairs over the course of the last decade, and both of them have been Herman Miller Embody chairs.

Like the iMovR desk, this chair has smart features that make you uber comfortable while you work, including a design that helps distribute pressure, provide support, and facilitate natural alignment of your body.

In other words, I think I have the perfect photography workspace. I have a smart desk that allows me to sit or stand while I work. I have an awesome desk chair that cradles my body while I'm consulting with clients. I have a quiet, well-lit office space that I actually really love.

And all those things make the fact that I'm in my office 12+ hours a day a much more enjoyable experience!

But don't take my word for it...

Check out the videos throughout this article to see the iMovR Lander desk in action to see how amazing this desk is for yourself!



We Recommend


iMovR Lander L-Desk Review

imovr lander l desk review 2019

I have an iMovR desk in my office, and it's one of the best pieces of office equipment I've ever purchased.

I have a standard desk, but iMovR has a multitude of desk options, including their new L-Desk, which is the subject of this review.

Though iMovR already crafted beautiful, durable, functional, and innovative desks, they designed and built their new Lander L-Desk from the ground up.

While the process of completely starting from scratch meant we had to wait a little while for the final product to be unveiled, it was certainly worth the wait. 

iMovr Lander L-Desk Construction

imovr lander l desk construction

The construction of the Lander L-Desk is really where it's at.

For starters, these desks are designed and manufactured in the United States using the finest materials.

iMovR's exclusive Surf(x) 3D laminated desktops are incredibly durable, beautiful, and have contoured edges that act as a more comfortable resting place for your arms.

These tops are hermetically sealed so you don't have to worry about damage from moisture. There's also no exposed glue seams that will collect dust, dirt, or bacteria. You can even clean the desktop with the harshest cleaning agents without worry of damaging it. These desktops are that durable!

And if that's not impressive enough, consider this: thanks to the 3D lamination process, wood grain desktops have a consistent direction of grain on both the main desk and the side table.

This is likely not something that you and I would notice at first, but it's that kind of attention to detail in creating truly heirloom pieces of furniture that sets iMovR apart from its competitors.

imovr lander l desk wood 

On top of all that, these desks are manufactured on demand.

That is, you select one of the 16 Surf(x) 3D-lamination colors or one of the 36 stain options in real wood for the desktop, select the width (which are available in increments of six inches), the shape, and base color, and that desk will be made specifically for you. All told, there's about 1,920 different size, shape and color combinations you can choose from.

That includes the ability to attach the side table to the left or right side of the main desk. You can also elect to have a 24-inch or a 30-inch depth side table to better suit your specific needs. You can even opt for different-shaped side tables, including rectangular or peninsula shaped with a half-circle at the end.

There's no pre-made desks sitting around waiting to be shipped - your desk is 100% custom to your specifications!

imovr lander l desk groove

Speaking of the side table, iMovR has even innovated how it attaches to the main desk.

On lesser desks, you often notice a groove in the work surface where the main desk and side table meet. Not so on the iMovR Lander...

Using a custom CNC router bit, iMovR was able to create a special negative contour on the edge of the side table so it would perfectly fit with the positive contour of the main desk.

The result is a virtually continuous, smooth surface with a barely noticeable groove. Again, it's just another example of the attention to detail that makes these desks better than the rest.

And an even bigger bonus is that these desks are incredibly easy to put together.

In fact, I put together my Lander desk in about 10 minutes' time - and with no tools needed.

Granted, the three-legged L-Desk is a more complex piece of equipment, but iMovR has managed to make it nearly as easy to put together as the standard desk that I have.

Compared to other L-shaped desks, this rig can be assembled in about a tenth of the time. There are only four machine bolts and five wood screws involved, which means in less than 20 minutes, you can have this desk ready to rock.

iMovr Lander L-Desk Technology

imovr app

One of the features I love most about my Lander desk is the inclusion of all kinds of technology that makes it easy to use while also helping me to be more healthy.

As on my two-legged desk, the three-legged L-Desk has an innovative height control paddle that allows you to change the height of the desk with a simple tap.

The high-resolution multi-color display looks sleek with its recessed buttons, and it's easy to read as well.

The built-in health coach is a Godsend, and helps you remember to change positions according to the notification frequency and duration that you set either through the display buttons or the app.

And don't think that when it's time to move the Lander L-Desk creates a huge racket - instead, you're gently reminded visually on the display, via push notification on your phone, or both.

See this technology in action in the video below:

The beauty of this setup - having on-board controls on the paddle and Bluetooth control via the app - means that you can raise and lower the desk without having to find your phone. Alternatively, if you have your phone handy, you can remotely raise or lower the desk for added convenience.

What's more, the app enables you to set your favorite height positions, and as noted above, create custom reminders to stand. iMovR is even working on ways to enhance the app further for more functionality in the future.

When using the control paddle, you can double-tap to automatically raise or lower the desk to your preferred height. That makes moving the desk ultra easy because you don't have to hold your finger on the paddle. You won't find that feature on any other American-made standing desks!

iMovr Lander L-Desk Legs

imovr lander l desk technology

To improve the stability of the L-Desk iMovR spent a lot of time designing a three-leg system.

Naturally, having three legs offers more support than just two legs, but adding that third leg also means greater complexity of operation.

So, to ensure that the three legs operate in unison, iMovR had to focus on ultra-precise manufacturing tolerances. What's more, developing precision electronic controls was of the utmost importance, otherwise, the legs could operate out of sync and the desk could break.

Fortunately, the iMovR team's dedication to perfection and only using the highest-quality components has paid off - the L-Desk has buttery smooth operation.

Of course, that precise, smooth operation is backed by an industry-leading 10-year warranty on the base (with five years on the desktop) as well as a 100-day satisfaction guarantee.

In other words, you should have no qualms or concerns about the operation of this desk.

iMovr Lander L-Desk vs Workrite L-Desk

imovr lander l desk above

Years ago, the first sit-stand desk I bought was from Workrite. It was a great desk that I used for years and years.

But it wasn't perfect...

Not only was that desk incredibly expensive, but it was also extremely difficult to put together. And that's coming from someone that knows his way around a workshop!

The quality of the desk was off the charts, but when it came time to get a new desk, all I could think about was how much my Workrite desk costs and how many hours it took me to put together.

imovr lander l desk specs

Fast-forward to last year, and I picked up my Lander sit-stand desk.

As noted earlier, I had it set up and ready to go in about 10 minutes - compared to the 4+ hours it took me to put the Workrite desk together.

And even though my Workrite desk was well constructed, it paled in comparison to the quality of construction of my Lander desk.

In comparing the new Lander L-Desk with the Workrite L-Desk, you see similar differences: the Lander L-Desk is easier to put together, has a higher quality of construction, more innovative options, and it costs less.

When it comes to outfitting your office with the best, it's hard to find a better fit for your specific needs and your budget than the Lander L-Desk.



We Recommend


iMovR Lander Lite Desk Review

imovr lander lite desk review

The standing desk industry has certainly changed a lot over the last decade or so.

I should know - I’ve owned a couple of standing desks, and in terms of quality, functionality, and price, things are definitely headed in the right direction.

Such is the case with iMovR’s latest desk, the Lander Lite. 

I reviewed the original Lander desk a few months back, and spoiler alert - it’s hands-down the best standing desk I’ve ever owned.

The question is, does this new “Lite” version of the Lander desk live up to the high bar set by its predecessors?

iMovR Lander Lite Review: Build Quality

imovr lander lite build quality 1

Like the original Lander desk, the Lander Lite is proudly engineered and made in the USA. That means the utmost quality of construction. 

The Ergo-contoured 3D laminate top is ¾ inches thick and comes in a variety of finishes from cherry to oak to mahogany. There are even hand-crafted solid wood tops available that are made from American-grown, sustainable species!

But what’s truly special about these tabletops isn’t the array of finishes, but their sheer durability.

Using precision Computer Numerical Control equipment, iMovR crafts the Lander Lite tabletops to perfection. After they’re formed, the tabletops are either hermetically sealed with Surf(x) 3D lamination, or in the case of solid wood, KCMA-rated waterborne sealant. This process not only results in a gorgeous appearance but it also protects the tabletop from warping and moisture damage. 

In fact, these tabletops are so durable that they can be cleaned with the strongest of disinfectants with no ill effects on the table’s finish.

imovr lander lite build quality 2

Below the tabletop is the Lander Lite’s super-strong base, which can be fitted with either single-stage, two-segment legs or dual-stage, three-segment legs.

In either case, the Lander Lite can lift up to 225 pounds and do so at a barely audible noise level.

Where some standing desks utilize motors that operate very quickly, but are also very noisy, iMovR uses hushed motors that minimize sound without sacrificing speed. In fact, the Lander Lite can lift at a rate of 1.6-inches per second!

Throw in a 10-year warranty on the base components and a five-year warranty on the tabletop, and you have the makings of a desk that has unparalleled build quality and dependability.

Lander Lite Desk Review: Assembly

When you buy a standing desk, you might do so with a bit of trepidation, thinking that you’ll need to block out an entire weekend to put the darn thing together.

After all, you’re dealing with multiple components in the tabletop, base, and legs, as well as motors, plugs, and in the case of the Lander Lite, a built-in health coach. 

But where other standing desks are complex beasts that take hours and hours to put together, iMovR has ensured that the Lander Lite is just as easy to put together as the other Lander desks.

In fact, this desk comes factory-tested and 90 percent pre-assembled. The only assembly required with tools is to attach the feet to the legs with four screws each. It takes a simple Allen wrench to do so, and iMovR even supplies the wrench! Otherwise, you just need to attach the legs to the frame - which is a tool-free process - and you're good to go!

Not everyone is handy and not everyone can afford to hire someone to come in and assemble a piece of furniture. That’s why the Lander Lite is an ideal desk for so many people - it’s the perfect combination of quality construction and ease of installation.

iMovR Lander Lite Desk Review: Technology

imovr lander lite desk technology 1

As I alluded to above, the Lander Lite Desk is packed with technology, just like its bigger siblings.

You’ll find the same height control paddle on this desk that enables quick height changes with a simple double-tap of the up or down arrow.

You can save favorite heights, too, so if your significant other uses the desk, it’s easy to transition to your selected height using the control paddle.

Even better, the control paddle has a built-in health coach that will remind you to stand at intervals you can set. The reminder is gently provided via a flashing LED in the paddle, via a push notifications sent to your phone, or both.

imovr lander lite desk technology 2

As if that’s not impressive enough, iMovR has developed a Bluetooth-connected smartphone app that allows you to set your favorite height positions, raise or lower your desk, and create custom reminders to stand. 

This future-proof app is constantly being updated with additional features that enable you to reap the most health benefits from using the Lander Lite Desk.

imovr lander lite desk neat certification

Speaking of health benefits, the Lander Lite desk is a NEAT (Non Exercise Activity Thermogenesis) certified product that helps reduce negative effects of a sedentary lifestyle.

By alternating your positioning as you work, your body will expend more energy, your heart rate will increase, and the ill-effects of sitting - obesity, fatigue, and muscle aches among them - will be diminished.

iMovR Lander Lite Desk Review: Final Verdict

imovr lander lite desk final verdict

After examining the Lander Lite desk, it’s clear to me that iMovR has hit another home run. 

As I mentioned earlier, the original Lander desk is far and away the best standing desk I’ve ever owned. The fact that all the same high-quality materials, functionality, technology, and durability are present in the Lander Lite is a huge win for people that need a top-tier desk on a budget.

Heck, the Lander Lite is even compatible with all the same iMovR accessories as the original desk, including monitor arms, sit-stand stools, standing mats, and iMovR’s office treadmill. 

With the best warranty in the business and a 100-day satisfaction guaranteed, there’s really nothing to lose. Get out of your chair and get standing with a Lander Lite desk today

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We Recommend


iMovR Lander Treadmill Desk Review

iMovR Lander Treadmill Desk Review 1

For those of us that work long days in the office, having a standing desk is all but a necessity.

As research has shown, having a standing desk has a host of health benefits, not the least of which is a lesser risk of heart disease, obesity, diabetes, low back pain, and lower extremity circulatory issues. 

But now many standing desk manufacturers are venturing into new territory by offering active desk options.

I got my hands on one such desk - the iMovR Lander Treadmill Desk - and offer my hands-on review below.

iMovR Lander Treadmill Desk Overview

iMovR Lander Treadmill Desk Review 2

The iMovR Lander Treadmill Desk starts at $2,648. Add in a SteadyType® Keyboard Tray that allows you to type as you walk, and the price increases to $2,923. This is the option I chose (shown above). Less expensive models are available from iMovR but this is the most state-of-the-art system on the market today.

This desk comes with a multitude of options. Choose from 16 different color choices (including cherry, maple, and mahogany) for the desktop, three different colors (black, white, and silver) for the base, and various desk widths from 41-inches to 83-inches.

The desk is equipped with an electric lift that raises or lowers the desk at a rate of 1.6-inches per second and can lift up to 360 lbs (including the desktop).

Using the sleek height-control paddle, you can double-tap the up or down arrow to move the desk to the next height - of which you can program four favorites per user. The high-resolution display shows the height of the desk with great precision (to 1/10th of an inch).

Alternatively, as shown in the video above, you can control the height of the desk by connecting your smartphone to the controller's Bluetooth transceiver and using an app to adjust the height of the desk with a single tap of the screen. If you have multiple users sharing the same desk, they can each store their own preferences in the app and sync to the desk in seconds from the moment they walk up to it.

The standard Lander Treadmill Desk ranges in height from 24.5-inches to 50.5-inches, and with optional leg extenders (which I opted to purchase), the height is increased by another six inches. This is particularly useful for tall folks like myself who can’t find any other standing desk that can go high enough for them - even if they stand atop a treadmill base that adds 5” to their height.

iMovR Lander Treadmill Desk Build Quality & Warranties Review

iMovR Lander Treadmill Desk Review 3

The iMovR Lander Treadmill Desk (and all iMovR desks, for that matter) are made in the USA using high-quality materials and precision robotics automation. When unboxing the desk components, it's clear that time and care were taken not only to construct the various parts, but that they were designed with comfort and longevity in mind as well.

That includes 3D-laminated tops that improve the durability of the desktop to stand up to daily uses and abuses in the office. They look great, too.

The desktops are created using precision Computer Numerical Control equipment and are hermetically sealed with Surf(x) 3D lamination.

In other words, the process used to create the desktop ensures that it provides superior performance over other desktops, including offering enhanced protection from moisture damage and warping.

The corners and edges of the desktop are contoured to create a beautiful look, and are ergonomically designed to improve comfort.

The desktop comes with a five-year warranty while the motors, electronics, and base have a 10-year warranty. iMovR offers a 100-day 100% satisfaction guarantee as well. This is the best warranty I’ve ever seen on a desk you can order online, and a good reflection on their made-in-America quality.

iMovR Lander Treadmill Desk Assembly Review

The iMovR Lander Treadmill Desk is not lightweight. For the stability and reliability needed to work well with an office treadmill, it has a lot of extra steel in it to lower its center of gravity and minimize any shaking of the desk from your own sway as you walk. It weighs between 100 and 130 pounds depending on the size of your order.

Yet this trusty desk comes 98 percent assembled. In fact, it is the only standing desk you can buy that doesn’t require any tools to assemble it.

That's because the desk's frame and leg sockets come pre-attached to the desk. The control paddle is attached as well, and all the cables are in place, too.

As you can see in the video above, the assembly process takes just a few minutes from the time you unbox the components to the time you begin using the desk. No other standing desk can claim such an easy assembly process.

iMovR Lander Treadmill Desk Treadmill Ease of Use Review

iMovR Lander Treadmill Desk Review 4

As noted earlier, the height of the Lander desk can be raised or lowered with a simple double-tap on the control panel or via an app.

The treadmill is just as easy to use, with a full-color, touchscreen display that sits neatly on the desktop. There's no membrane keys to mess around with on this desk.

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The display of the ThermoTread GT treadmill base displays all sorts of helpful data, like walking speed, time, distance, and calorie burn. You can track your statistics whether you're walking, standing, or sitting, too. It even has a pomodoro timer in it to remind you when to take breaks for hydration or to change to a sitting or standing position.

Since I have my Lander Treadmill Desk set up in my home office, I only needed to create one user profile. However, in offices with multiple workers, up to five profiles can be created to track fitness. 

iMovR Lander Treadmill Desk SteadyType® Keyboard Tray Review

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Whether standing or walking on the treadmill, the SteadyType® keyboard tray is a must-have.

To improve comfort and ergonomics, the tray allows you to set your keyboard at steeper angle than you can get with a conventional keyboard tray designed for sitting use—these usually max at 15 degrees. That’s great if you’re in an armchair but supporting your arms at a 90-degree angle while standing or walking at a desk can become tiresome.

Technically iMovR’s patented SteadyType® tray can adjust up to 85 degrees, but most users will find that 25 to 40 degrees is the most comfortable and practical (steeper if they can touchtype). These steeper angles are more ergonomically neutral, minimizing strain on the arms and wrists and helping to minimize tension in the shoulders and neck.

The tray is rock stable, too, with far less monitor shake as you type as compared to any other kind of keyboard tray. That means less stress on your eyes as they don't have to constantly reacquire focus on the screen.The stability of the tray also improves typing accuracy, that way you can complete tasks faster and more efficiently as well.

iMovR Lander Treadmill Desk Built-In Health Coach Review

If you're the kind of worker that gets really involved in what you're doing, the Lander desk’s built-in health coach is a great feature.

You can specify when to be reminded to stand, and the notifications to do so aren't jarring, either.

In fact, when it's time to move, the controller slowly pulses in a soothing color, or you can set the reminder to send a push notification to your phone.

Setting up the notifications is easy, too. Do so from the smartphone app or program them using one of the three hidden buttons on the control paddle.

What's more, iMovR's engineers have future-proofed this technology, so new features can be added in the future to help enhance your health and fitness even more.

iMovR Lander Treadmill Desk: Pros and Cons

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I've written before about my personal experience with my iMovR desk, and in that article, I expound on the desk's best features.

From a purely practical point of view, there are a number of benefits of the iMovR Lander Desk that cannot be overlooked:

  • Easy assembly in minutes
  • Durable components, with the entire desk made in the USA (the treadmill base is made in Taiwan to American quality standards, not China)
  • Smartphone app integration via BlueTooth
  • Built-in health coach

Of these benefits, many people will appreciate the ease of assembly the most. When iMovR says that you can put the desk together in just a couple of minutes, they aren't kidding.

Personally, I like the health coach the most. When I get lost in my work, I can sit for hours on end. Having a gentle reminder to stand or walk on the treadmill has greatly reduced the incidence of a sore neck, shoulders, and back. (Studies have shown that users are likely to stand 117% more simply by using this reminder feature, and even more if they make use of an anti-fatigue mat.)

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Not everything is perfect, though, and the iMovR Lander Desk is no exception. The biggest disappointments include:

  • Only offered in 30-inch depth
  • Only offered in rectangular shape

Granted, this list of cons is a little nitpicky, and I've been told by iMovR that more size and shape options for the desktop are going to be offered shortly, including a plethora of L-desk designs and 30 real wood solid slab desktop options.

While iMovR does make less expensive desks, including 24”-deep compact models, the 30” depth is necessary if using with a treadmill base.

iMovR Lander Treadmill Desk Final Thoughts

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I've had a couple of months with my iMovR Lander Treadmill Desk, and so far, I'm even more pleased than I thought I would be.

From a health and fitness standpoint, having a desk that actually reminds me to stand or walk, and having easy-to-use controls is something I really appreciate.

The big, bright ThermoTread GT display is also nice, that way I can quickly see what my fitness stats are without taking my attention away from my work.

I also appreciate the fact that these desks are made in the US, and that the design and manufacturing processes are dialed in to create a beautiful, durable desk that will stand the test of time.

Yes, this desk requires a significant monetary investment. But after just a couple of months, that investment has already more than paid off.

Learn more about the iMovR Lander Standing Desk



We Recommend


This One Decision Changed the Way I Work as a Photographer

benefits of an active deskImage Credit: Jacob Ammentorp Lund via iStock 

Okay, truth be told I've made a lot of decisions over the years that have changed how I work as a photographer.

Some of those decisions were, shall we say, not good...

But I'm happy to say that other decisions I've made along the way have improved my ability to get things done easier and faster.

This year marks a very important anniversary in my life - the anniversary of one such really good decision.

I'm not talking about my wedding anniversary, either (but that was a VERY good decision...).

Instead, it's been ten years since I started using an ergonomic desk in my office, and of all the choices I've made in my professional life, outfitting my office with an ergonomic desk is definitely at the top of my best-decisions-ever-made list.

latino businessman works at standing computer desk at home picture id856780720Image Credit: DNY59 via iStock

As has been widely documented over the years, having an ergonomic or active desk has a multitude of health benefits.

Rather than sitting all day - which increases your risk of weight gain and diabetes - standing helps stave off fatigue, lower the risk of heart disease, reduce lower back pain, improve circulation in the lower extremities and even extend your lifespan.

I can attest to the fact that once I moved to an ergonomic desk, I found myself with much better energy, far less lower back pain, and improved cognition, too.

I don't sleep much, so if I'm sitting at my desk in the afternoon, I feel incredibly sluggish and tired. But once I switched to a standing desk, that afternoon slump was mitigated to a great degree.

The desk I bought ten years ago was a Workrite L-shaped sit-stand desk.

It has served me well over the last decade and has helped me be more productive (and comfortable) throughout the workday.

But I wanted to add another desk to my office to serve as my editing workstation, and this time, I wanted to try something new.

Don't get me wrong - my Workrite desk has been great (apart from the hours and hours it took to put it together). But things have changed in the active desk market over the last 10 years and there was something else I wanted to try.

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So, about two months ago, I ordered an iMovR Lander desk.

Actually, I ordered it together with an iMovR ThermoTread GT office treadmill, making it a Lander Treadmill Desk System.

As far as being active while you work goes, adding the ability to walk slowly at your desk is the perfect complement to standing, and yes, even sitting--all at the same workstation. In the ideal regime you don’t spend too many time doing any one of those things, but rather switch it up every hour or two (it takes seconds to transition from sitting to standing to walking) for optimal health and productivity.

At typical desk walking speeds of 1 to 2 mph (cardio walking is 3.1 mph in comparison), and especially with the built-in SteadyType ergonomic keyboard tray option I ordered with my Lander desk, there is no measurable loss of typing proficiency, no sweating, just increased oxygen flow to the brain.

I found that it is easiest and best to start my day standing, then switch to walking after an hour or two, and then relax my legs and my core for an hour or two while sitting. Rinse and repeat.

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On top of that, my knees feel so much better and no longer make those creaking sounds that started to happen once I hit my 40s...

What's so great about this desk is that it's loaded for bear with features.

For starters, there are hundreds of size and color combinations so you can customize how your desk looks to fit your personal aesthetic.

Secondly, I ordered my desk with iMovR's patented SteadyTypeⓇ keyboard tray (shown below), which offers a supremely stable base for my keyboard and an incredibly comfortable typing experience while I work.

My desk also has a control paddle that makes height adjustments a breeze. Speaking of a breeze, I can even raise or lower my desk via a smartphone app!

iMovR has also incorporated elements that make the desk a more active member of your health routine.

For example, my Lander desk has a built-in health coach that gives me reminders to change position throughout the day.

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Anyone that knows me understands that I can get lost in my work, and before I know it I've been working for several hours straight without a break.

But with my new Lander desk, I'm reminded periodically to change positions, and my body feels so much better as a result. My home office is so much better now that I have this desk!

 

iMovR even offers a 100-day satisfaction guarantee, so if you pick one of these bad boys up and don't like it, no worries!

I'm here to tell you that you'll love it, though...

In fact, from moment one you'll be in love because these desks come 98-percent assembled. That means you can have it set up within a matter of minutes (it took me about 10 minutes) without the use of any tools.

On top of all that, consider this - iMovR offers a ten-year warranty on the base of the desk and a five-year warranty on the desktop.

That tells you something about the quality of the product and the American-built components they use to build these desks.

They are rock-solid, beautifully made right here in the U.S., and incredibly durable. My iMovR desk has become an integral component of my home office, and it will remain as such for years and years to come!

I know I'm gushing here, but there's good reason.

Those of us that have jobs that require tons of computer time know how difficult it is to sit all day long.

And while standing part of the day certainly helps, I cannot express how much of a difference having the option to walk while I work has made.

My iMovR desk is helping to keep me fit, stay on task, and think more clearly, especially as the day drags on, and it can do the same for you! Check out the options iMovR has for your office.



We Recommend


Top 10 Gifts for Photographers Under $1,000 - 2019 Edition

Top 10 Gifts for Photographers Under 1000

 photo bykrystiannawrocki via iStock

The holidays are getting ever closer. That means we all need to get on our game and start making shopping lists for our loved ones.

But if you ask me, photographers are one of the toughest groups of people to satisfy. Many of us are picky and if you aren’t a photographer yourself, you might not know what the best gifts for photographers might be.

So before all the Black Friday sales begin to crop up, consult our list of the top gifts for photographers so you know what to keep your eye out for when holiday shopping really begins to get underway.

Gifts for Photographers Under $1,000: CanvasHQ Prints

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If you’re like me, sometimes finding the perfect gift for certain loved ones is a long, drawn-out process that causes tons of stress, and often you still don’t get something that totally blows them away.

I think a lot of photographers fall into this category. We have specific likes, and many of us already have most of what we want or need gear-wise, and what we don’t have is usually too expensive to put on a Christmas wish-list anyway.

But for all those hard-to-shop-for photographers on your 2019 holiday shopping list, I have the perfect solution - a canvas print.

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Think about it… 

A canvas print is a gift that keeps on giving.

Not only can you immortalize one of your favorite images from your favorite photographer, but you also give them a means to showcase their work in a format that’s drop-dead gorgeous.

I have tons of canvases in my home, the vast majority of which are from CanvasHQ.

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Now, I know what you’re thinking - canvas is old school.

Sure, maybe it is, but I’m telling you that these canvas prints from CanvasHQ are mind-bogglingly beautiful. In fact, they go head-to-head with any metal or acrylic print I have in my home.

The attention to detail is just amazing, and the materials they use are top-of-the-line. We’re talking archival-grade canvas, commercial-grade inks that are water and UV resistant, and kiln-dried pine frames to keep everything straight and true.

I love the personality that the canvas texture gives my images. That’s true whether it’s a portrait of my son or a landscape photo.

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I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the customer service you get with CanvasHQ.

These guys are committed to getting it right, so if something doesn’t go as planned, you won’t be hung out to dry.

If you have questions, they’ll answer them. If you have a problem, they’ll fix it. If you need assistance with uploading your photo or even picking the best finishes for your canvas, they’ve got your back.

In the video above, I explain why I highly recommend a CanvasHQ canvas print as the ideal gift for the photographer on your holiday shopping list.

Start shopping for your favorite photographer today on CanvasHQ!

Gifts for Photographers Under $1,000: Holdfast Roamographer 

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With a $1,000 holiday budget, you can give the photographer on your list a gift that is impeccably designed, highly functional, and way under budget, too. 

The Holdfast Roamographer bag is one of the finest leather camera bags on the market. It offers gorgeous aesthetics with an American Bison leather exterior that’s beautiful and rugged at the same time.

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Not only will this leather stand up to the elements and age with grace, but it’s also weather resistant so you can be sure the contents of the bag remain safe and dry.

It’s a big bag and can carry lots of gear, but carrying it is a breeze with an adjustable shoulder strap with a shearling-lined shoulder pad for comfort.

Or, if you prefer, you can carry the Roamographer using the Holdfast MoneyMaker for even more functionality and comfort, as seen above.

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The inside of the bag must be mentioned as well. 

The removable camera insert means that no matter how much or how little gear your favorite photographer needs to carry, the Roamographer will help them keep it organized.

The padded insert has cubbies specifically for cameras, lenses, flashes, and other accessories, while there’s interior and exterior pockets for other goodies like a phone, car keys, and a tablet.

The insert is removable, too, so on weekends when they’re not on the job, the photographer on your list can use this as a weekend bag, too. 

That makes the Holdfast Roamographer a beautiful, functional, and multi-purpose bag!

Learn more about the Holdfast Roamographer

Gifts for Photographers Under $1,000: iMovR Lander Lite Desk 

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One of the worst parts of the job as a photographer are the long hours spent sitting at your desk, culling and editing images.

But the photographer on your holiday shopping list needn’t sit in discomfort all day long!

The iMovR Lander Lite Desk is the ideal solution, offering both sit and stand options for workers.

I have the Lander Desk in my office, and I can tell you first-hand that it is one of the best investments I’ve ever made for my work life - it’s that good!

The Lander Lite Desk has all the same crazy-good technology as the Lander Desk, but with “lighter” features and a smaller price tag.

For example, this little beauty has a height control paddle with built-in health coach, just like it’s big brother, the Lander Desk. The paddle syncs with your smartphone so you can even move the desk up and down remotely. 

Likewise, you can choose from hundreds of size and color combinations so the photographer in your life gets the precise desk they need.

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The Lander Lite incorporates whisper-quiet motors, too, with 225 pounds of lifting capacity.

And if you think that standing desks aren’t stable, you’re wrong! The Lander Lite offers the ultimate stable work surface. And since it’s 3-D laminated, the desktop is virtually indestructible.

Best of all, the Lander Lite Desk arrives nearly pre-assembled, so you won’t have to spend your afternoon putting the darn thing together.

Plus, it’s made in the USA, so you know the quality is top-notch!

Learn more about the Lander Lite Desk

Gifts for Photographers Under $1,000: Pre-Owned Sony Alpha a6300 and Sony E 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 OSS Lens

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A great holiday gift idea for the photographer on your list is a Sony camera/lens setup.

By opting for a pre-owned camera and lens, you can save a ton of money while still giving an awesome gift this holiday season.

The Sony a6300 offers tons of features, including a 24.2-megapixel Exmor CMOS sensor, a BIONZ X image processor, 4K video at 30p, HD video at 1080p/120, and continuous shooting at 11fps.

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Add to that a spectacular 425-point autofocus system with tracking AF, excellent image quality, and a small, lightweight body, and the a6300 is a perfect gift for a photographer that needs a capable yet highly portable camera.

Pair that with the Sony E 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 OSS lens, and you've got quite the package!

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This lens has an effective focal length of 27-202.5mm to give photographers incredible versatility from wide-angle to telephoto.

It also sports Optical SteadyShot technology, which minimizes camera shake so you can get sharper images when holding the camera in your hand.

With quick and accurate autofocus performance and quiet operation that's ideal for shooting video, this lens is a great choice for still photographers and videographers alike.

All told, this camera and lens combination is under $1,000, so you can give two gifts for the price of one!

Learn more about the Sony a6300 and the Sony E 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 OSS lens

Gifts for Photographers Under $1,000: Ikan Onyx Digital Color LED Panel Light 

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Photography requires great light, and while there are many different lighting options out there, few match the creative possibilities that the Ikan Onyx Digital Color Light provides.

It has a RGBWA LED panel that offers five color modes to suit just about any kind of photo shoot.

When in RGBWA mode, the light gives photographers complete control over red, green, and blue LEDs independently. That being the case, the photographer on your list can literally create millions of different colors!

Meanwhile, the amber and white LEDs give photographers the option of recreating daylight or tungsten light with incredible accuracy.

There’s also a CCT Mode that is adjustable from 2800K up to 10,000K. Again, this gives the photographer on your list infinite possibilities for customizing the light for their photos.

Add to that a Hue Shift feature of magenta and green lights, and you’ve got a lighting option that offers supreme matching control when using this light with other LEDs.

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On top of all that, the Onyx Digital Color light has eight built-in special effects (a candle flame and police car lights among them), 33 different gels to choose from, and a built-in ½-stop diffuser.

With a CRI/TLCI rating of 95, this light produces gorgeous, clean light that is sure to knock the socks off the photographer on your holiday shopping list. 

Learn more about the Ikan Onyx Digital Color LED Light Panel 

Gifts for Photographers Under $1,000: Synology DiskStation DS 1019+ 

It's crucial for all photographers to have a solid backup system, that way if catastrophe strikes - a flood or fire, a break-in, a hard drive failure, and so forth - their precious photos and other files will be safe and sound.

For that task, it's tough to beat the Synology DiskStation DS1019+...

I have this exact model on my desk, and it has proven to be the reliable backup I need to ensure my files are duplicated and safe.

It's small enough that it doesn't take up a ton of room on my desk while also being packed with features that make it an easy-to-use and powerful storage option. Read my complete Synology DiskStation DS1019+ review to learn more.

There are five hot-swappable bays, each of which can accommodate a 2.5-inch or a 3.5-inch drive. If the photographer on your list has TONS of files, they can easily expand that capacity to 10 bays with the Synology DX517.

Aside from the expansion capabilities, the DS1019+ is easy to operate thanks to the intuitive Synology operating system. Even if you've never setup or used a network attached storage device before, this one will be a breeze to use.

In fact, I set it up in just a few minutes with no problems or issues at all.

This unit is power-packed with an Intel Celeron J3455 1.5GHz quad-core processor that’s capable of burst speed of 2.3Ghz.

Add to that 8GB of RAM, built-in applications for video transcoding, read/write speeds up to 225MB per second, tool-free installation for 3.5-inch drives, and the Synology reputation for reliability, and you have the makings of a perfect - and practical - holiday gift idea for the photographer in your life!

Learn more about the Synology DiskStation DS1019+

Gifts for Photographers Under $1,000: Syrp Genie II Linear

syrp genie gifts for photographers

If the photographer you’re shopping for is into shooting time-lapse videos (or real-time videos, for that matter), then a perfect gift idea is the Syrp Genie II Linear. 

What’s so great about this product is its size and weight - at little more than 5.5 x 5.5 x 6.33 inches and two pounds, this little guy can be easily added to any photography bag for on-the-go motion control.

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What’s more, the Genie II Linear can attach to any slider on the market, giving your favorite photographer incredible versatility in how they craft their time-lapse setup. It can also attach to cable cam systems up to 328-feet in length.

This thing is also loaded for bear with features that will enable the photographer on your list to create professional-looking videos.

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From key-framing to time-lapse video, shooting B-roll to recording interviews, the Genie II Linear can get the job done!  

Throw in live view, camera control for ramping exposures, wireless control via a smartphone, and many other intelligent features, this is simply one of the best motion control devices you can get this holiday season!

Learn more about the Syrp Genie II Linear

Gifts for Photographers Under $1,000: Aputure 120d II

Over the years, Aputure has established itself as one of the top lighting choices of photographers worldwide. That’s because of the incredible features and build quality of products like the 120d II.

I use this light in my home studio (you can read my review of it here), and it is far and away one of the best lights I’ve ever owned.

The light it produces is beautifully clean and bright (25 percent brighter than the 120d). Additionally, it has a pleasing color temperature of 5500K.

You can control the 120d II using a wireless remote from up to 328 feet away, giving photographers the ultimate in flexibility regarding the positioning related to the subject. 

Speaking of flexibility, this light is dimmable from 100 percent down to just 1 percent, so the photographer on your list can dial in the precise level of lighting they need to get the shot. 

Aputure has built in all kinds of lighting effects for further creative lighting. What’s more, the redesigned handbrake offers a super secure lock to prevent the light from moving.

That means that when the light is dialed in and positioned, you don’t have to worry about whether or not it will stay in place. That’s the kind of peace of mind photographers want from their gear!

The integrated power and control box make for easy transport while the 18 dB quiet fan won’t distract photographers while on-location. Add in a CRI and TLCI of 97+, and you have a recipe for one heck of a light for the photographer on your list!

Learn more about the Aputure 120d II

Gifts for Photographers Under $1,000: Zeiss Batis 85mm f/1.8 Lens

Earlier this year, I took the Zeiss Batis 85mm f/1.8 for a test drive with my Sony a6400, and I was blown away by the quality of the images I was able to get.

For me, the best feature of this lens is that it is incredibly sharp. A close second would be its extremely fast and accurate focusing.

As you can see in the sample image below, this lens also produces nice bokeh that’s great for portraits.

Additionally, this lens is super lightweight, so you don’t feel like you’re lugging around a huge kit while you take photos. The photographer on your shopping list will surely appreciate that!

The look of the lens is something else, too - it’s sleek design reminds me of the Zeiss Otus lenses from back in the day. 

And while some would argue that the streamlined design means it’s not comfortable to use, I disagree. 

The big rubber ring offers tons of grip, and the lens feels great in the hand, due in large part to the lightweight design I mentioned above.

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The angle of view of 29 degrees is perfect for portraits, and the maximum f/1.8 aperture allows for flexibility in low-light shooting situations.

The floating element design of the lens minimizes aberrations, and since it’s dust and weather-sealed, it can be taken out for shoots in adverse weather without worry that it will be damaged.

In other words, if the photographer on your holiday list is after a fantastic portrait lens, this is it!

Learn more about the Zeiss Batis 85mm f/1.8 Lens

Gifts for Photographers Under $1,000: f-stop Sukha Backpack Master Bundle 

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A top-of-the-line camera backpack is sure to score you some brownie points with the photographer on your holiday shopping list…

I have an f-stop Sukha, and to say that this thing can hold a lot of gear is a huge understatement… 

In fact, it can accommodate 70 liters of gear, so if your favorite photographer has a ton of stuff or they’ll be hitting the road for a while, this is the bag that they need.

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And I know what you’re thinking...big bags like this make a mess of organizing gear. With all that space, everything gets jumbled up and is hard to find, right? 

Wrong!

The Master Bundle comes with a wide range of ICUs (Internal Camera Units) that maximize the space in the bag while keeping the gear inside safe, secure, and organized. 

From the ultra-small Micro Nano ICU to the big, beefy Pro X-Large ICU, there are six ICU options for a highly customizable interior space.

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The f-stop Sukha Master Bundle also features goodies like a hydration sleeve, a large rain cover, and a packing cell kit that will keep your clothing nice and organized.

There are three accessory pouches, a Mano pouch, and an ICU gate as well. 

And even with all that gear inside the bag, it’s still ultimately comfortable to carry. That’s thanks to the large, cushy should straps that help distribute the weight of the bag over a larger area. The padded waistbelt is a nice touch as well. 

Learn more about the f-stop Sukha Master Bundle

Gifts for Photographers Under $1,000: Pre-Owned Canon EOS 7D Mark II 

If the photographer you’re shopping for is ready to upgrade their APS-C camera to a higher-end model, the Canon EOS 7D Mark II is a great option.

This professional-grade camera is not only budget-friendly, but it offers some great specs, too: 

  • 20.2-megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor
  • Dual DIGIC 6 Image Processors
  • 10 fps burst shooting
  • ISO to 16,000 (expandable to 51,200)
  • 1080/60p video
  • Weather-sealed body

canon 7d mark ii 

On top of that, Canon implemented its Dual Pixel CMOS autofocus system into this camera, which is a big deal because the Dual Pixel system is usually reserved for Canon’s more expensive cameras. 

The autofocus system offers 65 AF points, all of which are cross-type. The camera has six customizable modes for focusing as well, which gives you tracking sensitivity options that improve its performance.

This thing feels like a top-shelf camera too. There's no body flex, the buttons, dials, and switches feel beefy and crisp, and the weather sealing means you can shoot in less-than-ideal conditions without worrying that your camera will be soaked to the core.

In other words, if you want to help your photography loved one step up their game, this camera is an excellent option!

Learn more about the Canon EOS 7D Mark II. 

Gifts for Photographers Under $1,000: ProMediaGear Pro-Stix 34 Series Tripod

 

When it comes to the very best tripods money can buy, one has to look to ProMediaGear.

The Pro-Stix 34 Series tripod is my everyday rig, and has been for about the last year or so. To say that it’s the best tripod I’ve ever owned is a massive understatement.

It’s really no contest, either.

Granted, when I first started in photography, I “bargain-basemented” my way through various cheap tripods that didn’t last more than a few months.

But as I got more experienced and had more money to devote to gear, I began utilizing more well-known brands and highly reviewed tripods.

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It wasn’t until I started using ProMediaGear tripods that I reached the pinnacle of what a tripod can do, though.

For starters, this tripod can accommodate up to 60 pounds of gear. That might seem like overkill for a photographer, but as I move more and more into videography and have more and more gear to put on the tripod, having an abundance of support is definitely a good thing (and since the apex has a 1/4-20 threaded adapter port, I can easily add more gear when I need to).

Despite having a huge load capacity, this tripod is still easily transportable - it’s just over four pounds and folds down to less than 23 inches.

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The beefy 34mm legs are made of 10-layer carbon fiber, so they are about as rock-solid as you can get.

The legs have three locking leg angle positions, tension-adjustable leg mechanisms, large molded rubber feet, and integrated stainless steel spikes to boot. In other words, this sucker is rugged and will give you durability for years and years to come.

But beyond the awesome specs and incredible reliability, I appreciate that ProMediaGear makes this and their other tripods right here in the U.S. (in Tinley Park, Illinois, to be exact). Not only that, the folks at ProMediaGear are experienced photographers, and their expertise was crucial in designing this tripod.

From a functionality standpoint, a versatility standpoint, a build-quality standpoint, and so forth, the ProMedia Gear Pro-Stix 34 series is simply the cream of the crop when it comes to the best tripods of 2019. 

Learn more about the ProMediaGear Pro-Stix 34 Series tripod

 



We Recommend


Top 10 Gifts for Photographers Under $2,500 - 2019 Edition

Top 10 Gifts for Photographers Under 2500 2019 Edition

photo bykrystiannawrocki via iStock

I think we can all agree that photography gear is expensive, but with a $2,500 budget, you can get some pretty incredible stuff for the photographer on your holiday shopping list.

Whether your favorite photographer needs a new desk, an awesome large-format photo print, a new portrait lighting setup or something in between, we’ve got all kinds of suggestions that will satisfy their needs!

Gifts for Photographers Under $2,500: CanvasHQ Print 

If you’re like me, sometimes finding the perfect gift for certain loved ones is a long, drawn-out process that causes tons of stress, and often you still don’t get something that totally blows them away.

I think a lot of photographers fall into this category. We have specific likes, and many of us already have most of what we want or need gear-wise, and what we don’t have is usually too expensive to put on a Christmas wish-list anyway. 

But for all those hard-to-shop-for photographers on your 2019 holiday shopping list, I have the perfect solution - a canvas print. Or, with a $2,500 budget, you could get them a ton of prints!

Think about it…

A canvas print is a gift that keeps on giving.

Not only can you immortalize one of your favorite images from your favorite photographer, but you also give them a means to showcase their work in a format that’s drop-dead gorgeous. 

I have tons of canvases in my home, the vast majority of which are from CanvasHQ.

Now, I know what you’re thinking - canvas is old school. 

Sure, maybe it is, but I’m telling you that these canvas prints from CanvasHQ are mind-bogglingly beautiful. In fact, they go head-to-head with any metal or acrylic print I have in my home.

The attention to detail is just amazing, and the materials they use are top-of-the-line. We’re talking archival-grade canvas, commercial-grade inks that are water and UV resistant, and kiln-dried pine frames to keep everything straight and true.

I love the personality that the canvas texture gives my images. That’s true whether it’s a portrait of my son or a landscape photo.

I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the customer service you get with CanvasHQ.

These guys are committed to getting it right, so if something doesn’t go as planned, you won’t be hung out to dry. 

If you have questions, they’ll answer them. If you have a problem, they’ll fix it. If you need assistance with uploading your photo or even picking the best finishes for your canvas, they’ve got your back. 

In the video above, I explain why I highly recommend a CanvasHQ canvas print as the ideal gift for the photographer on your holiday shopping list.

Start shopping for your favorite photographer today on CanvasHQ!

Gifts for Photographers Under $2,500: iMovR Lander Desk 

I can personally attest to the awesomeness of the iMovR Lander Desk as I have one in my home office. In short, it completely changed how I work.

You can read all about it in my iMovR Lander Desk review, but the short version is that this a desk of the highest quality that’s durable, made in the USA, highly customizable, and easy to assemble to boot!

The photographer on your list will appreciate all of these features, but if you’re going to help them assemble their new desk, you’ll both appreciate the fact that it will only take a few minutes. I set mine up by myself in less than 20 minutes, which is a far cry from the entire afternoon I spent years ago putting together my first sit-stand desk.

This sucker is super well made, too. There’s not cheap parts, no corners cut. This is truly a desk that is an investment for the long term.

It’s also worth noting how customizable the Lander desk is. There are literally hundreds of different combinations of sizes, shapes, and finishes, so your favorite photographer can pick and choose precisely what they want for a desk that not only maximizes their workflow but also looks like a million bucks.

This sucker is super well made, too. There’s not cheap parts, no corners cut. This is truly a desk that is an investment for the long term.

It’s also worth noting how customizable the Lander desk is. There are literally hundreds of different combinations of sizes, shapes, and finishes, so your favorite photographer can pick and choose precisely what they want for a desk that not only maximizes their workflow but also looks like a million bucks.

Having a desk that transitions from a sitting to a standing desk will change any photographer’s life - sitting for hours hunched over a desk while editing photos is certainly no way to work in comfort.

And with the iMovR Lander desk, making the move from sitting to standing takes just seconds - the Bluetooth-enabled height-control paddle with high-resolution LCD requires a single double-tap to raise or lower the desk. You can even raise it or lower it by using an app on your phone! 

This is truly the nicest desk I’ve ever owned, and I cannot recommend it highly enough for other professionals in the photography industry!

Learn more about the iMovR Lander desk

Gifts for Photographers Under $2,500: Pre-Owned Canon EOS R  

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The EOS R is Canon's very first mirrorless camera, and if the photographer on your holiday list is a Canon shooter, there are few better gifts to give this holiday season!

The EOS R offers a bevy of features that starts with an ultra-resolute 30.3-megapixel full frame CMOS sensor.

Paired with a DIGIC 8 image processor, this camera is capable of shooting at 8fps and up to a native ISO range of 40000.

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What's more, Canon gave the EOS R excellent video capabilities with UHD 4K video recording at 30fps.

One of this camera's best features, though, is the Dual Pixel CMOS autofocus system.

All told, it has 5,655 selectable autofocus points that allow photographers to quickly and accurately select where the focus of the image will be.

With a small, lightweight body, excellent build quality, great handling, and an increasingly large selection of lenses, the EOS R is definitely a fantastic gift idea this Christmas!

Learn more about the Canon EOS R

Gifts for Photographers Under $2,500: Aputure Light Storm LC 120d II Daylight LED 2-Light Kit With Case 

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I have an Aputure 120d II in my home studio, and as I explain in my review of this light, it is absolutely fantastic.

Each light has pretty incredible specs:

  • 1000-watt Tungsten equivalent
  • Integrated power and control box
  • CRI & TLCI 97+
  • Dimmable from 100 percent to just 1 percent
  • Built-in lighting effects, including fireworks, fire, lightning, paparazzi, and TV flicker
  • 18 dB quiet fan
  • DMX Capability
  • Wireless remote (328-foot range) 

Not bad right?

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This kit gives you two of these lights, each of which has a set of four-way barn doors to customize how the light interacts with the subject.

Each light also has a controller with 100-240 VAC power, a wireless remote, and a 7.5-foot light stand. Aputure even throws in a padded SKB case with a custom Think Tank interior so the photographer on your list can easily and safely transport their new lighting kit from Point A to Point B. 

Photography is all about good lighting, and Aputure certainly delivers on that front!

Learn more about the Aputure Light Storm LC 120d II Daylight LED 2-Light Kit With Case

Gifts for Photographers Under $2,500: Nevada Art Printers Acrylic Print 

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I was never a huge fan of acrylic prints until I decided to give Nevada Art Printers a try a few months ago.

I had gone to Norway and captured a pretty good shot (shown above) and wanted a print that would really elevate the quality of the shot.

So, I ordered an acrylic print from these guys, and it is honestly one of the most beautiful prints I have ever laid hands on. Truly - they perform magic!

Now, I have to say that the photo above of this print simply does not do it justice. My home studio has tons of lights everywhere and I just couldn't find an angle to take a photo that didn't have a glare.

The big draw of these acrylic prints is the Lumachrome finish (you see people talking about it all the time on Facebook).

In a nutshell, Lumachrome prints are ultra-high resolution with incredible vibrancy and clarity. It honestly gives the photo a 3-dimensional feel. That’s because Nevada Art Printers created custom ICC profiles that use a tweaked tone curve to maximize that 3-dimensional effect.

Honestly, it’s hard to describe, and even more difficult to believe if you can’t see it with your own eyes - like I said, photos online just do not do the quality of these prints justice!

What’s more, the folks at Nevada Art Printers are extremely helpful and work hard to help you get the best possible print. Their customer service is truly A+!

This combination of super-high-quality products and top-notch service before, during, and after the sale makes an acrylic print from Nevada Art Printers an ideal gift for the photographer on your list this holiday season. 

Learn more about Nevada Art Printers and their Lumachrome Acrylic Prints

Gifts for Photographers Under $2,500: Syrp Genie II Pan Tilt 

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If the photographer on your list is a video enthusiast as well, the Syrp Genie II Pan Tilt is an ideal gift for them.

Not only is this rig ultra-portable, but it gives you complete pan and tilt motion control that adds smooth, cinematic motion to your videos with 180-degree tilting motion and 360-degree panning motion.

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The Genie II Pan Tilt offers options for real-time and timelapse videos, key-framing, panoramas, and much more. And since it has removable batteries, you can easily head off the beaten path with spare batteries in hand to shoot long and beautiful cinematic sequences.

The unit has a built-in screen for checking settings and starting quick motion sequences, but it also has a companion app that allows you to control the unit from your smartphone.

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Whether the photographer on your list wants a motion control device for documentary work, interviews, timelapses, panoramas, or something in between, the Genie II Pan Tilt is the device to get. 

Plus, it’s easily combined with Syrp’s Genie II Linear to get three-axis motion control in a super small and portable device. Nice, right?!

Learn more about the Syrp Genie II Pan Tilt

Gifts for Photographers Under $2,500: ProMediaGear Pro-Stix TR424L Carbon Fiber Tripod 

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ProMediaGear tripods are among the best on the market. And that’s not just lip-service, either.

I’ve used ProMediaGear tripods, including the TR424L, for quite some time, and I can assure you that they are well-made, durable, and extremely functional.

These are professional-grade tripods, without a doubt. It can hold up to 125 pounds of gear thanks to its 42mm-thick carbon tripod legs.

Even when I’m out shooting video and I have a ton of accessories, it still doesn’t come close to that 125-pound mark!

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From a functionality standpoint, the legs have three-position angle locks so you can adjust the tripod to be perfectly level, no matter how uneven the terrain. The built-in bubble level helps in that regard as well.

Deploying the legs is simple, too - just a quarter-turn locks them in place.

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This tripod also has huge rubber feet, which as a landscape photographer is a favorite feature. The tripod doesn’t sink into soft soil and it doesn’t slip when things are wet or frozen. The metal spikes in the bottoms of each leg offer even more stability for truly rough shooting conditions.

You get all this in a tripod that folds down to just 26.3-inches tall, which can easily fit into a camera bag.

This isn’t a lightweight tripod by any means, but if the photographer on your list needs a go-anywhere, do-anything tripod, this is definitely it! 

Learn more about the ProMediaGear TR424L Carbon Fiber Tripod

Gifts for Photographers Under $2,500: Pre-Owned Nikon Z6

nikon z6

Like the EOS R I mentioned earlier, the Nikon Z6 is a fantastic mirrorless camera.

If your loved one is a Nikon shooter or if they just want to switch to Nikon, this is a great camera to entice them to do so.

The Z6 has a 24.5-megapixel full frame back-illuminated sensor that offers superb image quality with excellent detail, clarity, and sharpness.

The 12fps burst shooting speed is ideal for action photography while the 273-point autofocus system helps you keep track of moving targets.

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On the back is a large 3.2-inch variable-angle touchscreen LCD with 2.1 million dots of resolution, so you can easily see the camera's menu system and take a peek at images you've shot.

The Z6 has Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, shoots 4K video, and has a battery life of 310 shots.

This camera is an excellent option for photographers that want a solid rig that can tackle still photos and videos all in one package!

Learn more about the Nikon Z6

Gifts for Photographers Under $2,500: iMovR Lander L-Desk

Like their traditional sit-stand desk I mentioned earlier, iMovR’s Lander L-Desk is a well-built, feature-rich desk that has the capability of completely changing how the photographer on your list goes about their workday. 

With the same array of options regarding colors and materials, your loved one can fully customize how their desk looks to suit their specific tastes.

In fact, it’s not just the looks of these desks that are a great selling point - it’s their durability. 

iMovR uses 3D laminated desktops that are just about bulletproof. They’re hermetically sealed to protect against damage and they resist moisture, so those pesky sweat rings from your water bottle won’t bother the desktop a bit.

There’s no exposed glue seams, either, so dust, dirt, and bacteria have nowhere to hide!

You can choose to have the side table on the left or right side of the main desk and you can choose between a 24-inch or 30-inch depth side table as well.

There’s even different options for the shapes of the side table, from peninsula-shaped to half-circle. 

These desks offer tons of space, the health benefits of being convertible from sitting to standing, and they are 100 percent custom made to your specifications. Talk about a fantastic gift!

Learn more about the iMovR Lander L-Desk

Zeiss Batis 85mm f/1.8 Lens

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Designed specifically for Sony E-mount cameras, the Zeiss Batis 85mm f/1.8 is a killer portrait lens for Sony shooters. If your favorite photographer has a Sony E-mount camera (i.e., the a6400), this is a must-have lens!

This lens is supremely sharp, super lightweight, and easy to handle.

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I personally like how the lens feels in the hand - it has a nice, big rubber ring that aids in gripping the camera as you move around your subject.

If the photographer on your list is in a situation in which they need to be quiet, like a recital, they'll appreciate the fact that this lens has an ultra-quiet autofocus system that's also incredibly fast and accurate.

The 29-degree angle of view is ideal for portraits, and with a maximum aperture of f/1.8, it can collect tons of light while also minimizing the depth of field. The result is a nice, blurry background for portraits.

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As I mentioned above, this lens is lightweight at just over one pound, and it also has a small form factor - just 3.19 x 3.62 inches.

This lens is also dust and weather-resistant for the adventurous photographer on your holiday shopping list.

Best of all, the price on this lens has dropped - it was once over $1,100, but is now a shade under $900. That's not bad if you have a $2,500 budget!

Learn more about the Zeiss Batis 85mm f/1.8 Lens

 

 



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