As smaller, lighter gear grows ever more popular – some mirrorless systems, while capable of delivering brilliant results in knowing hands, weigh half as much as DSLR systems – it is only natural for smaller bags to get more popular as well. Already you can see retailers and online stores offering a wide array of “for mirrorless cameras” bags and the selection will only grow wider. Even though I haven’t bought into a mirrorless system (yet), I, too, was on a lookout for a small, unassuming bag. The main requirements were simple: it had to look like anything but a camera bag and thus also work as a simple shoulder bag when needed; it had to be small, yet big enough to fit a mirrorless body with a couple of small lenses and, until such a time arrives, big enough to fit a D700 camera with a 50mm lens attached; and, if at all possible, accommodate my Mamiya RZ67 – not a small camera, mind you – and a roll of film for those quiet evening walks in the old city.
This is an in-depth review of the Fujifilm X-T1, a weather-proof mirrorless interchangeable-lens camera from Fuji that was announced on January 28, 2014. Previously known for its popular X-Pro, X-E and X-M lines, the new “T” line is specifically made to be “tough”. With its all magnesium-alloy body, sealed buttons and compartments, the X-T1 is Fuji’s first attempt at a fully weather-sealed mirrorless camera. Although Fuji’s recent cameras have been quite popular, it had nothing to offer against the OM-D E-M1 and OM-D E-M5 Micro Four Thirds mirrorless cameras from Olympus. With the latter two offering weather sealing, in-body image stabilization (IBIS) and a whole slew of lenses to choose from, Fuji wanted the X-T1 to offer similar features at a competitive price. With a larger APS-C sensor and a huge, high-resolution electronic viewfinder (EVF), the X-T1 was also meant to appeal a bigger audience from professionals and enthusiasts that want a lighter and more compact setup than their DSLRs.
About a year ago, I reviewed an Impact background (Impact reversible muslin background). Out of curiosity, I decided to grab another one. This time instead of one that was reversible, I chose the Impact Crushed Muslin Background in Grey Mist. What’s the difference you might ask? Let’s just see…
Sometimes when I travel or just have a portrait session in town, I don’t want to bring all of my camera gear with me. At times like this, I’ve always thought it would be really nice to have a smaller bag I could bring along and leave my big bag at home. Enter this shoulder bag from Ruggard… big enough to hold a body and a few lenses but not so big that it becomes just as heavy as my normal camera bag.
Many years ago I bought a Nikon 55mm macro lens. This was an older, manual focus lens. It came with an older extension tube that did not communicate with the camera, meaning that any lens that was attached to it lost all communication with the camera, meaning it also became a manual focus lens. Worse yet, newer Nikon AF-S lenses that do not have an aperture ring weren’t usable at any aperture besides completely stopped down.
If you do photography in a studio, you probably have a few shot bags laying around. This very small shot bag has a variety of uses.
I never thought that I would be reviewing an Apple Mac Pro, since I have never owned a Mac and was always a PC user. In fact, the last time I really handled a Mac was about 14 years ago, when I worked as an IT tech at the University of Colorado, servicing campus computers. Since then, aside from occasional encounters at local stores or friend’s houses, I have been keeping myself away from Macs. Although I have nothing against Apple in general, there were a number of reasons why I kept myself on the PC platform. The first and the biggest reason was personal preference – having been “PC-savvy” for many years, building computers and providing support for them (whether it was for my family, friends or work), I was pretty content with what I had and never really had much interest in Macs. Second, having spent the majority of my adult life working for various companies and organizations, I took part in building PC and server networks based on the Microsoft OS platform, as Macs have just not been very popular in the corporate world. Lastly, cost was also an issue – for the price of a Mac, I could easily build a PC or buy one at half the cost.
One of the biggest challenges that we photographers face when traveling is productivity – being able to import, access and back up captured photographs and sometimes even edit them to be posted online or provided to a client. While we have plenty of gadgets today to accomplish this task, the world seems to be divided between three camps – full-featured laptops that come with bulk, weight and very little battery life, highly mobile tablets that pack enough battery life to keep you busy, but don’t have the juice to run anything serious, or “ultrabooks” that fall in-between, being a compromise in terms of weight, bulk and performance.
Recently when I was investigating ultra-lightweight and portable tripods I came across the Tamrac ZipShot. This tripod is one of the most innovative, lightweight tripod designs to hit the market in some time. The tripod comes in two sizes: the TR404 mini which extends to 28” in height, weighs 9 ounces and folds up to 9” in length. The larger model is the TR406 which extends to about 44” in height, weighs 11 ounces, and folds up to 15”. Both models are weight-rated by Tamrac to support 3 pounds.