Archive for the Review Category

Radiopoppers

Posted in Review with tags , , , , , , on March 24, 2009 by Jim
Radio Popper with mounting system

Radio Popper with mounting system

I’ve been waiting for the Radiopopper Jr. system since last year when they were first announced.  However, the designers/manufacturers of the “Poppers” decided they weren’t happy with the design and decided to pull back and add all the new features that they were going to save for future models.  Now it appears the Jrx. Popper is finally going to be released next month!

What is the Radiopopper?  For all you Strobist junkies out there, the Popper is a radio remote unit for your flash units.  If you are familiar with the PocketWizard, then you know what a Radio Popper is, except the Poppers are full TTL!!  That means the flash units can be used on automatic as well as manual!  These clever guys figured out how to take the infrared (IR) signal that flash units use to communicate TTL information and convert that into a radio signal that can be sent hundreds of feet, instead of ten to fifteen feet.  Even better, since these are radio units, the units do not have to have a direct ‘line of sight’ in order to operate – put ’em anywhere!  The Px units are now on the market and cost about $250 each for the transmitter and receiver.  However, the JRx model is suppose to come in around $50 each and will also work with the Px transmitter unit!

I’ve been using the eBay $25 Hong Kong units, which are unfortunately not that reliable (lots of misfires) and don’t have much range, so I’m really looking forward to trying out the new Jrx which are suppose to be released late next month.  For more information, check out http://radiopopper.com/ and click on their blog link for current status.  As soon as I get my hands on one I will post a review here and at my new forum at www.elusiveimage.net/forum.

Camdapter(tm) Handstrap

Posted in Review with tags , on March 3, 2009 by Jim
Camdapter(tm) strap in action

Camdapter(tm) strap

Now and then I run across a product that not only performs better than promised, but the company that produces that product also has outstanding customer service.  A recent purchase of the Camdaper(TM) is such a product!

The Camdapter(TM) is a handstrap system that consists of two parts: an optional adapter that bolts to the bottom of the camera (if required) and the straps themselves.

Camdapter(TM) makes a number of different adapter plates and I decided to purchase the Arca  Neoprene plate which not only has strap holders for a neck strap and handstrap, but also serves as an Arca quick release plate for my ball head.

I opted for the Top Grain prostrap for the actual handgrip. This is a nice leather strap that not only looks great, but is nice and thick and should last forever!  There are other options listed, but apparently not currently available – other colors and designs, but I prefer the plain black strap anyway.

Camdapter(tm) plate on camera

Camdapter(tm) plate on camera

 Just minutes after I placed my order, I received, not an order confirmation notice, but a shipping notice along with a nice note from Jim Garavuso, the owner of the company and designer of the strap.  My order was placed on Friday and my order arrived on Monday!   Now that is service!

My strap was already partially assembled on the adapter plate and was very easy to attach to my camera with an alan wrench that was included.  The wrench was even attached to a piece of leather to allow it to be attached to a strap or vest ring to take it along with you should you need to tighten or remove the adapter.

The strap itself is nice and large and very comfortable.  I know it is going to last for years and it’s nice to see function and design merged together so perfectly. 

Absolutely worth the price. Highly recommended!    www.camdapter.com

Canon 5D MK II HD Video

Posted in Review with tags , , , on October 1, 2008 by Jim
Laforet video shot with Canon 5D MK II

Laforet video shot with Canon 5D MK II

Canon recently announced their update to the aging 5D, the new 5D MK II.   Normally I wouldn’t get too excited except Canon added a new feature (likely inspired by Nikon’s latest release) and added HD video capability to this 21 Megapixel camera.  Since I have a background in filmmaking as well as still photography, I find this addition quite interesting.  However, just adding video capability isn’t a big deal, if the video is an after thought with low quality, jerky footage.

But, that isn’t the case – Canon added 1080P HD 30 fps capability!  What makes this so exciting is the fact you achieve the same (or similiar) look and depth of field as the ‘big guys’ do with their 35mm motion picture cameras!  Will the actual video live up to the hype?

Take a look at the following website – http://www.vincentlaforet.com/ and see what you think.  I was amazed at the quality of the video shot with this pre-production camera.  Vincent Laforet is a New York based photographer (and one of Canon’s “Explorers of Light”) who managed to get his hands on this camera for a weekend and put together some sample video that is simply incredible.

I read somewhere that National Geographic want their photographers to be versed in video as well as still photography and now one camera can do it all.

I think I want one!

Orbis Ring Flash

Posted in Review with tags , , on September 24, 2008 by Jim
Orbis Ring Flash
Orbis Ring Flash

Every now and then something comes along that has one intended purpose, but I see more potential for other uses!  One such product is the new, as yet to be released, Orbis Ring Flash.  The Orbis is made to work with your current strobe unit to soften and direct the light directly from the lens axis.  It is actually a type of ‘beauty light’.  However, it would appear to me that this unit might also be a subsitute for the more expensive macro ring flash units – and it would be more universal!  Best of all, the unit is suppose to cost less than $200, which makes it considerably less expensive than dedicated macro flash units.

  The unit is suppose to be released in the next month or so and you can sign up for their newsletter (and a chance to win one!) at http://www.orbisflash.com/.  I’ll be posting updates here after it has been released along with a review as to how well it might work as a macro flash unit.
 

While I don’t have a unit at the moment for testing and review, I thought it was worth bringing this to everyone’s attention.  As soon as I get a unit, I will post a complete review!