PhotoFast G-Monster X Drive USB 3.0 Review

The PhotoFast G-Monster X Drive is a USB 3.0 enclosure for CF cards and 1.8″ hard drives.  Essentially, the G-Monster X Drive turns a CF card or micro-sized hard drives into an ultra-compact, high speed hard drive.

Recently, I added a USB 3.0 PCIe adapter and an external USB 3.0 hard drive to my desktop PC as a media drive for video editing.  So far, it has worked very well – with no discernable difference in performance from my internal hard drives.  I have since become a big fan of USB 3.0 tech and was glad to hear about the G-Monster X Drive from Photofast. [Read more...]

Think Tank Photo Urban Disguise 40 V2.0 Review

Think Tank Photo’s new Urban Disguise series camera bags are a versatile line of shoulder-carry bags that make it possible to carry a lot of gear in a compact and inconspicuous manner.

Think Tank Photo offers several different versions of the Urban Disguise bags, which lets find a bag that serves your own needs. At the bottom end, you’ve got the Urban Disguise 10, which holds a DSLR with lens attached (along with some extra space in the front pocket), to the Urban Disguise 70, which holds 2 pro-sized DSLRs with up to 70-200 f/2.8 lenses attached, plus several lenses and a couple of additional bodies.  Additionally, the Urban Disguise series features bags like the Urban Disguise 60, which holds pro-sized DSLRs, lenses and offers a 17″ widescreen laptop compartment.

The Urban Disguise 40 V2.0 has been on my shoulder for the past few weeks with a number of different gear arrangements inside.  For a lot of folks, the Urban Disguise 40 V2.0 will serve as the perfect single-shoot bag.  It’s also a fantastic photo walk or day trip bag.

The Urban Disguise 40 V2.0 looks and feels like a professional briefcase.  It doesn’t stick out in a crowd and draw attention to you like “Hey, I’m carrying a few grand in camera gear.”  This is a camera bag that just lets you blend into the crowd, but still functions like a sexy camera bag. [Read more...]

Manfrotto 700RC2 Fluid Video Head Review

The Manfrotto 700RC2 is a basic, fluid head head for use with video cameras up to 5.5 pounds.  At around $90 street price, this is an entry-level head with little in the way of creature comforts.

The 700RC2 still gives you a quick release plate, and it has a pan arm rosette on the right side of the head for adjusting the angle of the solid pan arm included with the head.  The 700RC2 also has separate pan and tilt friction locks.

Read the rest of the review at Tech Tilt: Manfrotto 700RC2 Fluid Video Head Review

Zacuto Z-Finder Review

If you’ve got any interest in using a DSLR as a serious video camera, chances are that you’ve heard of the Zacuto Z-Finder.  As I have been learning the ropes of shooting video on the 5D Mark II, I’ve found the Z-Finder to be an indispensable piece of equipment for mobile operation of the camera.

Read the rest of the review at Tech Tilt: Zacuto Z-Finder Review.

Gorillapod Focus and Ballhead X Review: Bring Out the Big Guns

A little while back, I put a Canon 5D Mark II and a 70-200mm lens on a tiny little Gorillapod Magnetic – and it held the combo upside down using only magnets for grip.  That was a little extreme for that little tripod though.

While Joby didn’t necessarily approve of that use (nor when I stuck my camera to a car), they must have felt sorry for me and my 5D Mark II because they sent me a heavy-duty Gorillapod Focus and Ballhead X to play with . . . and abuse a bit. [Read more...]

Joby Gorillapod Magnetic is Grooviness Incarnate

When Joby developed the Gorillatorch, which is a combination of a Gorillapod, flashlight and ordinary magnets, Joby fans immediately started asking for a similar device to hold their cameras.  Earlier this year, Joby delivered on that request with the Gorillapod Magnetic.

Every year, there are maybe a handful of products that really “wow” me.  The new Gorillapod Magnetic is officially on the list for 2010.

It’s quite simple, really.  It’s a Gorillapod with magnetic feet. [Read more...]

Manfrotto 501HDV Fluid Tripod Head Review

The Manfrotto 501HDV is a dedicated video fluid head.  As camera manufacturers add more and more DSLRs with HD video capture, photographers’ interest in video seems to be growing at an exponential rate.  I know my interest has been piqued since I picked up a 5D Mark II roughly a year and a half ago.  One thing we’re learning though, is that good photo equipment doesn’t necessarily make good video equipment as well.  [Read more...]