Monday, September 30, 2013

Hot new introduction from Lowepro

Go from camera bag to daypack with the pull of a zipper. The versatile Lowepro® Hatchback Camera Bag features a clever, integrated, padded camera case that can be removed to transform the main bag into a spacious daypack. The top compartment has a zippered sleeve and two mesh pouches for accessories and personal essentials while the zippered, padded exterior sleeve protects your iPad®. And you'll love the two stretch water bottle pouches, adjustable Velcro® divider for customized organization, padded, mesh-covered straps and back panel, and built-in cover for all-weather protection. Polyester and nylon ripstop. Imported. (18½ x 7¾ x 4½"; 2 lbs)

I haven't used this particular bag yet, but I still own three other Lowepro bags.  They work and they last!

Check this one out at or call 1-800-962-4943.


Saturday, September 28, 2013

GoPro Hero3 Black Edition

Spend just a few minutes on the GoPro Hero3 Black Edition web page and you’ll see some of the most fabulous shots taken by GoPro users – surfing, underwater swimming, biking through treetops, motorcycle riding, you name it. So what could I do with my new GoPro to top those guys?

Hmmmm…still thinking…

Considering that I’m now approaching retirement, probably nothing quite that strenuous or exhilarating. What I’m really looking for now is an assistant to make things easier – not harder. You know, somebody to carry an extra camera, who can capture those shots that I might miss while I’m shooting something else.

After being inspired by all the shots of riders with multiple cameras affixed to their helmets and handlebars, it occurred to me that I could attach a GoPro to the DSLR camera I’m already carrying. It sure doesn’t weigh enough to impede my shooting. When things get interesting, it’s a simple thing to press the Record button on the Hero 3's remote and just let it roll until the battery runs out.

While I’m waiting for the peak of the action, or just the right expression, the GoPro is recording it all in 1920x1080 high-definition video at 30 frames per second. If I miss the smile or the peak action, it’s sure great to know that my assistant – let’s call him Hero 3 – has grabbed the shot for me.

Earlier this month, I had a chance to jump on the Press Boat to cover the re-enactment of the Battle of Lake Erie between Ohio and Canada. We had no idea of how the action would unfold or what type boat we’d be sailing on. Turns out, we got put on the most fabulous tall ship ourselves, but we wouldn’t be sailing up close to any of the other “combatant” ships in the re-enactment.  That meant I’d be shooting all day with my biggest telephoto.

Using an off-camera flash bracket, I mounted the GoPro Hero 3 Black Edition slightly above and to the left 
of my DSLR. That way, between shots, while I was changing positions, my GoPro was running and capturing some of the beauty of the ship we were sailing on. It was also recording wide angle shots that I can use for backgrounds later when doing page layouts for a photo feature.

This was my first experience using the GoPro so I was anxious to see the quality.  The day started out rather dreary, so I honestly wasn’t expecting too much. As the sun began to break through, things began to look up. It turned out to be a beautiful day and I was incredibly impressed with the images recorded on the GoPro, both during the light rain and in the intense mid-day sun.

The attached video should be labeled: Photos and video by Hero 3, since I never touched the shutter to take any of these.  They were all taken with the camera running while I was concentrating on other things. But hey, assistants don’t get bylines, so it remains: Photos by Doug. 

The stills are all just frame grabs I did while reviewing the video playback. The sharpness, contrast and color I think are amazing.  I can’t wait to use this for other situations.

This was all made possible with the LCD Touch BacPac accessory. With a real time video screen showing you what’s being captured, I could align the GoPro very easily with my DSLR. It also told me that if I wanted to use my giant f2.8 300mm lens, I would need to jack up the GoPro to avoid getting the lense in the shot.  Conversely, when I use a small point and shoot, even at widest angle on my GoPro, the camera is not in the way.

The camera’s specs are amazing, with as many different video shooting modes as you could ever want. Pick anything from WXGA up to 4K Cin.  I used 1080p and was quite happy. What you are looking at on YouTube or Vimeo is a compressed and reduced version of what I see on my desktop, but it still looks awesome.

In still camera mode, you can shoot resolutions from 5 to 12 MP, bursts up to 30 per second, continuous shooting at 3, 5 or 10 frames per second or time lapse at 0.5, 1, 2, 5, 10, 30, or 60 second intervals.  This assistant has got it together.

Hero 3 also lets you control any all video/camera settings from your smartphone using the free GoPro app available for iOS or Android.  While the Hero 3 Black Edition comes with a remote control, you can also control your camera with full live video preview using the app. Watch the video below for all the details – very full-featured and works amazingly well. 

With all the mounting options available for GoPro and now with two additional batteries charged and ready to go, I can see lots of other opportunities to use it. I can even monitor the action and record it from around the corner, in the next room. Maybe I'll call my assistant James Bond.

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Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Rode Rec 2.8 new updated app for recording

Rode Rec 2.8 from RĂ˜DE Microphones on Vimeo.
Great new recording app from Rode.  LOTS of new features - check out the video.

Rode Rec 2.8 on Vimeo:

Learn the Best Photo Post-Production Techniques Fast

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  • Panel Discussion on The Future of the Industry by leading tech experts - Oct. 23
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  • PhotoPlus 30th Anniversary Party BASH - Oct. 25

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Thursday, September 19, 2013

New iPhone5S - 64-bit photo app

PicTapGo Takes The Lead As First Photo App Designed Specifically For New iPhone 5s
A Now Faster & Sleeker Version of the Beloved Photo Editing App PicTapGo is Available for 50% off This Week Only

San Juan Capistrano, Calif. – September 20, 2013 – PicTapGo, an easy-to-use iPhone and iPad photography app created by Totally Rad! Inc., has received a major update today to utilize the full 64-bit processing capability of Apple’s new iPhone 5s and Apple iOS7. The upgraded version of PicTapGo is faster and much more user friendly for the fast-paced, multi-tasking iPhone user, and is among the first apps for iOS to support the new iPhone hardware’s 64-bit capability.

For a limited time only, PicTapGo (regularly $1.99) is available for the reduced price of $0.99.

In addition to being much faster than the previous versions of PicTapGo, the app is now designed to show off Apple’s newest operating system, iOS7. Apple’s newest mobile operating system gives a sleek, modern face to the iPhone. Users can now enjoy the faster and sleeker looking PicTapGo on all their Apple devices with one simple download.

“When we heard the announcement of the iPhone 5s on Tuesday, we immediately sidelined our other projects to work on updating PicTapGo,” said Doug Boutwell, CEO and Founder of Totally Rad! Inc. “PicTapGo is clean, elegant, and powerful, just like iOS7. We want to make sure PicTapGo users have a seamless experience with the new iOS7 aesthetic, and that our app takes full advantage of the new hardware. Having their favorite app upgraded and available to download the day they get their new iPhone 5s is an added bonus for users.” 

Additionally, PicTapGo is now a “universal app,” and includes the iPad-optimized version of the app, PicTapGo HD, for no additional charge.  Users of both the iPhone and the iPad will get the optimal experience for their device with a single purchase.  PicTapGo HD, the dedicated iPad-only version of PicTapGo, will be phased out of the app store over the coming weeks.

With PicTapGo, for only $1.99 ($0.99 for a limited time), anyone who has an interest in sharing their photos via social media sites, like Instagram, can turn a basic image from their phone into a polished, professional-quality photo by layering and combining over 55 filters. PicTapGo came out of the founder’s personal desire to quickly and easily improve their photos from the one device they are never without -- their iPhones. Behind PicTapGo is Totally Rad! Inc., makers of professional Photoshop and Lightroom editing tools designed by and for serious photographers. Totally Rad! Inc. is passionate about all things photography, and combines a love of photographic art and image science to make editing tools loved by photographers across the globe.

To download the new and improved version of PicTapGo, visit the iTunes stores today. Learn more at and view photos of how PicTapGo will look on the new iOS7 software at

iPhone Screenshot 2
 Totally Rad! Inc., is the brain child of a husband and wife duo, Doug and Chenin Boutwell. With backgrounds in professional photography the Boutwells created Totally Rad! Inc. to simplify digital photo editing for professional photographers. Totally Rad! Inc. makes professional Photoshop plugins and editing tools such as RadLab, Dirty Pictures, Pro Retouch 2.0, Replichrome, and the iPhone and iPad app PicTapGo. Learn more about Totally Rad! at:,,,,

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Revolutionary new Capture system from Peak Design

Capture v2 Camera Clip
A camera can’t capture that priceless shot when it’s tucked in a camera bag or backpack. That’s why Capture was invented – so that your camera is always ready. Capture v2 is now almost available and it’s an even more elegant and versatile way to always keep your camera handy.

Capture v2 is made to attach to a strap, a backpack or your belt, with its positive locking screws and grippers. It will attach to any strap up to 3 inches in width and ½” in thickness.  (If you are using a motor drive camera body or heavy lens, a pro belt like the Think Tank belt is recommended.) Improved grippers keep it from sliding around.

The new Capture v2 offers even better security for your camera. With a 90 degree twist-lock quick-release, the odds of your camera bouncing loose are almost zero. Top that off with a screw lock on the opposite end, and even in high vibration situations, your camera is going to stay in place.

Capture v2 Camera Clip

New with version 2 on the PRO model – a 1/4″x 20 mount for tripod or monopod

Completely re-engineered, this new plate is slimmer, more ergonomic, and yet easier to use with a redesigned slot for positive, clip alignment.  Want to see what kind of technology goes into making one of these things?  Watch this amazing video of the Capture v2 manufacturing process.

On the PRO version, you’ll be getting a 1/4″ x 20 mounting hole on the aluminum base so it can be used in conjunction with your monopod or tripod. With one of three PROplates (Arca, Dual/Manfrotto, or Micro) you can go from tripod to shoulder strap to monopod in the blink of an eye.

I had the opportunity to work with one of the first samples off the production line, and absolutely loved using it on my monopod.  I could quickly go from supporting my heavy f2.8, 300 m.m. lens on a DSLR to shooting with my point-and–shoot held high in the air on my extended monopod.  One Capture clip = lots of possibilities. Be sure to order additional PROplates for each of your cameras or big lenses.

There are also accessories coming as well.  A PROpad is planned for supporting your large lens/camera combinations comfortably on your belt.  There’s also a special mount made for attaching your GoPro cameras to your backpack straps. Watch my blog more hands-on-tests once these guys begin to ship.

Peter Dering, the inventor of Capture, has been doing business a unique way since he came out with his first Capture device. He funded his company via Kickstarter, allowing individuals to back his company instead of angel investors, sharktankers or NYSE big wigs. Now, upping his game, he’s gone back to Kickstarter for round two and is quickly becoming one of the most successful entrepreneurs to use this funding method.  In addition, his customers become his board of directors – how cool is that?

Not only has he raised more than needed each time, he’s been a sharp business man. He’s used the excess capital to invest in what he feels is the sharpest group of engineers and inventors available to help him continually improve the quality and the breadth of his product line. It’s been truly amazing to watch.
For more information on the Capture v2, as well as the available reward packages, see the Capture v2 on Kickstarter.  The current funding round ends August 23, 2013, after which time, you can order Capture v2 on the Peak Design website.
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