It’s been an interesting year, as innovation in photography took a backseat to improving what was already here.
We looked, prodded, handled, shot, and researched a ton this year, and felt that we do have some new tools to share.
Conceptually, the same news in technology at large, is the news in photography:
Wireless. The Cloud. Shared workflow between devices.
Before we dive into that, lets have a look at some of the products that should make your gift lists this year, whether you are the giftee or the gifter.
Our product of the year is arriving this week, and although we were blown away by the demo, we need to actually put it through its paces to recco a buy.
And you know, we need a second post: too much good stuff to add to the list.
Let’s start with the popular light modifier category:
Gary Fong has had this locked up in recent years but SpinLight 360 EXTREME Modular System
has come up with a versatile, easy to use, easy to pack system, complete with snoots, grids and gels. Now, people behind your flash can keep their vision. About $150 for the full set.
Lumiquest has been around for a long time, but there is a new small softbox, that packs flat. Fotodiox and Westcott have both come out with a circular and rectangular mini-softbox system.
Westcott is modular system, Fotodiox, with items like this 8″ Octagon Softbox asks that you just by the shape you need.
Moving on up, who hasn’t wanted to take their Mola Beauty dish to location? If you don’t have the assistants, the Chimera Octa 2 Beauty Dish
We read about it, but until we saw it in action, we couldn’t endorse it.
Wow. A nice gift for you under the tree.
As LED lights have begun flooding the market, due to the need to shoot video same time as stills, we found one that is exactly what we needed, at a sweet price point.
We’ve got the Litepanels 1×1’s, mini and micro, and love em. But a good ringlight to use when we have to put the profoto flash ring away? Tough one.
Found a great solution with enough adjustable output to kick it.
Fotodiox Pro LED Cordless Ring Light
with mounting stage, batteries, and case for $350. Perfect.
Let’s talk bags:
ThinkTank Photo has won our hearts for years.
Designed by photographers for photographers, it really doesn’t get much better.
The new messenger bag, called Think Tank CityWalker 20
, employs a new camera bucket system for a new way to still in modular way, depending on the assignment. Starts @ $125.( shown with gear it can hold. not incl.)
Still love the belt system, and truly appreciate the shoulder strap for it. ( shown with gear it can hold. Once again, not incl.)
That way I never feel like my pants may fall down from the weight.
Or I can lose weight.
Airport International V 2.0
for the one you love. About $350.
Travel your gear discreetly, safely. Ours is going on 4 years. Around the world.
One more stocking stuffer from ThinkTankPhoto: Think Tank SD Pixel Pocket Rocket
- the best media card holders. About $16.00
Tripods and grip equipment is a part of your main tool package.
One company we are especially digging is the 3 Legged Thing company.
We first jumped in with the 2nd Gen Brian tripod.
Packed small, lightweight (carbon fiber), versatile, had a built in monopod.
In 2 short years, the quality and fit and finish of this system continually exceeds expectation, and the current fit and finish of the line, garnered the best tripod of the show at PhotoPlus Expo.
Get a 3LT X1.1 Brian AH1 Ballhead Carbon Fiber Tripod Kit
about $340 for the 1.1 version.
OK, in every photographer camera bag, a Joby Gorillapods deserves some space.
Whether a stocking stuffer size or, the big boy which has held ridiculous camera/lens cameras for us, watch every photographers eyes light up with this gear wrapped up as a gift.
Top the larger units off with a Joby, Manfrotto or 3 Legged Thing head, and you’re done.
On a commercial shoot this year we were introduced to UltraLight system of grip gear. Our second unit camera person was running around with a Canon 5D, a Manfrotto Neotac monopod (yes, another recco for about $150) and a Marshall monitor hooked in using the Ultralight System of attachment.
In this whole list of gifts, this is the big secret one here. Let em know you read about it here on photoinduced.
We have an assortment of connectors and rods, including a special gopro head, that when customized to put our accouterments , be they a micro light, monitor, Zoom H4N recorder, this systems locks TIGHT and steady.
Priced like real gear, about $350 for the set we use, you will not regret the purchase.
It’s not sexy, come in an Ive box, but when gear works, you gotta share the news.
Small company, so don’t expect to find it at B&H. They don’t carry it.
One other small company Dinkum Products, showed us a compact line of modular arms with a ¼-20, and hot shoe, plus a Lens Shade,Dinkum Systems FlareDinkum CINE Lens Shade,
for the DSLR folks out there.
On a side note, we have 2 products for you DSLR video shooters out there.
The Zoom H4n
is still the leader in the off-camera digital recorders.
2 XLR inputs for real mics, plus 2 built in mics, a depth of control, and has a tripod mount built in.
Never use the DSLR built in mic as they are not good. And unless you are a ghost, just your hand movement and heavy breathing will be on the audio track.
Comes with a windscreen, handle or table mount, cables software, & simple case,
Cost under $300.
Couple this with pluralEyes software to sync and you’re good to edit. Of course that’s the other giftee we’ll get to. FCPX ain’t what previous editions were.
Hello Adobe Premier!
We’re gonna close out pt.1 of the gift guide with 2 fun deals:
Taking a slight turn is this awesome recording product from Focusrite:
the iTrack Solo.
The company has a legacy of exceptional sound boards, built for the music industry.
One of the main deals with getting quality sound is excellent pre-amps.
In this compact unit, they are the best.
Knowing that digital recording is going the way of the tablet, they created this unit for the iPad.
Create a narrative track for your video, or use it the way they intended, with a guitar,and a mic.
Open up GarageBand, plug in the gear, and record some of the cleanest sound, all on the iPad.
, which is a tension securing holder for fast attachment of ANY phone, or Compact camera without screwing it in to a tripod mount. We like it on an extending pole. About $15.00
And from Joby, this pocket sized tiny tripod, the Griptight Micro, has a tension mount securing system as well for your iPhone or smartphone to hold landscape or portrait.
This makes your content viewing or FaceTime conversations, um.. hands free.
Perfect stocking stuffer.
A little pricey @ $30, see if you can find a better price.
Next part of the list covers more toys, tools, and inspiration in our favorite subject: photography.