Month: July 2010

10 luxuries for the traveling photographer

Last week I posted 10 essentials for the traveling photographer. This week we are moving up the scale a bit to check out some things that you don’t necessarily need, but would be awesome to have if you have everything else on the previous list! 1. G-Tech Hard Drives In the essentials list I put hard drives and recommended the LaCie Rugged drives. If you are going to take a step up though then you have to check out the G-Raid Mini from G-Tech. This tiny enclosure houses 2 hard drives that can be configured in any Raid configuration meaning that with RAID 1 setting you have totally redundant backup of your data without having to worry about manually copying data onto 2 different drives. In this configuration though you should still copy to your laptop internal drive though and store the G-Raid and the laptop in different places just in case one gets stolen if you are flying. But if you travel nationally by car and can always have your gear on you this may not be such a worry to you. The next option is to get a pair of G-Drive mini SSDs. The solid state drives are WAY more expensive than regular drives but being SSDs there is far less to go wrong inside so you can in theory subject them to way more, and they...

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10 essentials for the traveling photographer

I traveled a lot this year, much more than previous years. This is a quick list of what I would consider to be essential items for a photographer on the road. 1. Power Strips If you’ve ever spent prolonged periods bouncing from one hotel to the next then you’ll know that the one thing they all have in common is a lack of power sockets. By the time you take into account a couple of camera battery chargers, a laptop, flash battery chargers, phone charger, iPod, point and shoot camera, audio recorder and video camera you can imagine how many things you might need to plug in a one time. A power strip is an absolute necessity! Make sure that you get one that is rated for both 110v and 240v or even up to 250v to take into account fluctuation voltages in some less developed areas. One of the best solutions I have found so far is the 3 Port + USB Outlets to Go model from Monster cable. It offers 3 power sockets and a USB charger all in one package, complete with a built in cable management system. The best part about the design is that the 3 sockets are spaced well apart, with one on the back and two on the front. This means that even with the biggest power brick, you can still get...

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Sony drops a bombshell! Announces the NEX-VG10 camera

Sony has announced an interchangeable lens video camera today based around the sensor from their new NEX camera series. This has surprised a few people, myself included! We all figure Canon is working on something like this, we know Panasonic is because they have officially released prototype drawings of it, called the AG-AF100 but Sony always seemed a little bit behind in the race because their Alpha line of SLR cameras is really the only major SLR lineup that currently does not feature video recording. It seems then that Sony just decided to skip the intermediary stage of creating an SLR that can shoot video and go straight to the video friendly form factor that everyone has been clamoring for since the release of the Canon 5dMKII. Interestingly the press release says it features an autofocus lens but details on this are slim right now. It is not clear whether all lenses attached will be able to shoot with autofocus or whether the system is built into the 18-200 lens that comes with it. So lets break it down, what are they giving us ? UPDATE: It seems that this camera will only shoot 1080/60i , no progressive mode. No 24p , 30p etc. I have no idea why sony would cripple it in this way. Seems weird because the rest of the concept seems pretty solid. Shoots to...

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Battle of the 300s. 300mm F4 IS Vs. 300mm F2.8 IS

This past winter I decided to purchase a 300mm f2.8 L IS.  My dream lens.  At the time I was using a 300mm f4 L IS to shoot skiing with and whilst I was never disappointed with the quality of the shots from that lens on its own, I wanted to see a little more from it when used with teleconverters. After buying the 2.8 I still had the f4 for a couple of weeks before I sold it on so I took the opportunity to shoot a few tests to compare the two.  Details of my testing were...

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Canon 300mm f2.8 L IS + 2x Teleconverter – Real world usage how good is it ?

Sometimes I get in the mood to do big technical tests on gear and lenses. I have a few of those in the works right now but for this one I’m going to keep it simple. Teleconverters have a fairly bad reputation and my first foray into their use was with my original 70-200 2.8 L IS. I picked up a 1.4x II thinking that it might be useful for getting me near the 300mm mark on the cheap. Long story short, I tried it a couple of times and then swore never to put a teleconverter anywhere near...

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