A Great New Product You May Not Need In A Year

This year, the pandemic did not slow down product development. As a matter of fact, it birthed new product categories, all related to to Covid.
Getting to see, and handle, products that were yet to hit market, was all over zoom.
So all samples to be shipped, and evaluated. Shipping has been an issue all over, but we are coming out of all, as we get back to normal, safely.
Masks became a manufacturing category, as well as, unfortunately, a political statement.

It’s about safety, and respect for others. I hope that you wear one when working as a street photographer, event photographer, and most cases when you are with others, unless all concerned are vaccinated. Look at most newscasts and you can see the reporters all wearing mask.
Consider a face mask a standard part of your kit, at this writing.

One of the standouts for me was AirPop Face masks.
Yep, we are all trying to find the best fitting, safest, and convenient ones possible. Aren’t we?
Heck Will.I.Am just came out with a high tech mask, that looks to sell for about $300.
Maybe not.
AirPop had an intriguing product that goes out at a $70 price point, including 4 replaceable filters that are good for 40 hours per use. So some good value when you long at the full package.
More than the price point, is the design:
First of all, there are adjustable straps for your ears, helping you find the most comfortable tension, while maintaining the safety, and sealing to your face.

The insert is pretty trick as well, with a flap that helps insure great fit depending on the shape of your face.

Admittedly, it took a beat to get the insert fitted in but that gave me the confidence of the tight fit. they call it the Ergo-Flex Seal.
One of the best parts of the design is the fact that it gives you the seal for protection, with a design so your mouth isn’t up against the mask, so you have a better experience for exercise, and honestly, any activity.

When they did the presentation, they were also debuting a coming product which has a sensor, that connects to an app, that tells you the quality of the air. On first glance, it looked like the air valve on some of the early masks we all saw, that had been deemed not sufficient for protection, but instead was a very high tech piece of gear, that gave great protection and an connected app gives you the data.

That one is still to come, and I’ll let you know what the deal is once it’s in use.

To recap:

  • Masks are a standard part of your gear,
  • Airpop has a great fitting and breathable solution
  • Price point makes senes when you take into account 40hrs per filtration insert, comes with 4, and washable outer.


After The Zoom Call, Get Creative! Lume Cube Helps Put It Together

Is anyone’s eybeballs swimming from all of the zoom calls? Or perhaps you you love a more comfortable chair?
I’m totally with you.
After doing all of the connections with your co-horts, maybe it’s time to create something for your audience.
You know who I’m talking about: your friends, your followers, heck, maybe even your family! Upgrade your vlogging life!
Lume Cube has become the standard issue light for your computer and keeping you looking good on all of those meetings.
They have just introduced a system, The Mobile Creator, that encourages you to take off that light, add your phone, and maybe a higher quality microphone and let your creative juices flow.

Is it that TikTok you want to make to grow that audience? or maybe that cooking show you always felt was the right way to share your cool ideas.
When you want to make it easy, and even be able to take it outside, with minimal set-up, this is the the package for you.
Dress it up, or dress it down, you can have all of the items you need in one place. You can go vertical or horizontal, as you can see.

I have personally put things together from bits and pieces, and honestly, it usually looks a bit haphazard.
With this set up, you don’t need to hunt for all pieces. It’s all here

So you can just do the tripod, phone holder, with 2 attachment points so you you can add your own gear. About $60.

OR add a light, the Lume Cube Mini. Or 2! ( with one light, it’s about $120.)

OR go all in and put the mounting hardware, light, and Rode Micro Mini mic, all in one place, as you see above. This will set you back $180.

And you can also make it nice and compact-

Step away from the meeting, forget about going on mute , and create something to share with the world. Here are the tools.

What will you make?


Real World Review – Fuji S-10 FTW In The Street

I’ll admit it.
There is a holy grail search for the best camera for the street photographers. Mirrorless is a winner from my perspective, and yes, size matters.
True, there will forever be discussion, comparisons, preferences.
Potato, Potatoe. ( Fuji, Sony, Canon, Nikon, Leica are all great choices!)

Tried a bunch, and I’m a Fuji photographer: love the files, and camera designs feel right. What’s up with this new one, the S-10?

In the Goldilocks scheme of things, my Fuji ranges are this: one is small, my X-100f, one is heavier, the X-T4, with much more capability.
The things I love about the X-T4 : Ibis, dual card slot, bigger battery, dedicated movie mode, ability to shoot 4k FLOG 400mps in movie mode (shot 2nd unit for a feature with this) and using the full compliment of Fuji Lenses.
And just the ergonomics. Top design is outstanding, and all of my controls are right there.
The X-100 series, is slim, leaf shutter, fixed lens, and a no-brainer for me, as it also fits right in my jacket pocket. Great for that simple walkabout.

So why the S-10??

The S-10 comes in right at the middle!

And on paper the Fuji S-10 covered a lot of bases.
First thing you notice, is the S-10 smaller than the X-T4,

It uses interchangeble lenses, and battery is the same battery I use for the 100F.
The dial design seems to be aimed at the newer user, as shooting modes are displayed on top.the old PSAM range (program, aperture, shutter speed, manual)
There is a dedicated ISO button to change up your ISO in manual, although you can create 3 separate auto ISO ranges, so you can set and forget.

It can take only 1 SD card, and UHS I only, so no back-up in the body.
The LCD is fully articulating, much like the X-T4, so great for vlogging.

IBIS (lens stabilization) is built in so that helps both the newbie, and the pro for a better chance at a sharp image.
The video capabilities are quite strong. mic inputs and headphones with an included dongle.

I can see how that saves space on this body, same as the X-T4. Still wish the X-T4 had a regular headphone jack like the X-T3, but I digress.

There is a built in flash, not super strong but fine for the friend snaps, or a fill light.

You can customize all of the buttons on this body, which I find super useful to match my other Fuji bodies for consistency.
On that point, when I first started to shoot with it, it did take a moment to get into the rhythm of fast changes in the controls.
Not a steep learning curve.
The body build overall is solid, and felt well built in the hands.
When you talk about basic ergonomics, the S-10 works, although if you have large hands, you may want to put it in your hands before purchasing.

What am I missing from the X-T4? not a whole heck of a lot, and at under $1000 vs $1700, the S-10 is a darn good deal.
The highlights:

*The LCD is fully articulated, and can be reversed to close in on body and be protected.
*The excellent Fujifilm algorithms for the classic film types, so you can adjust your jpegs in camera.
*Built in stabilization (IBIS)
*One SD card slot
*smaller battery
*smaller footprint overall than the X-T4

For the full story, here is a link to a comparison chart of the S-10 and the X-T4.

Yes, this a high recco piece of kit. If you are currently in the Fuji system, you have the lenses. If not, get the XF 18-55mm f/2.8-4 R LM OIS lens, which is corresponds to a 27-84mm equivalent focal length. I use that lens all the time, and dang happy with it. Great for video as well. Or you can go for the 16-80mm, with an equivalent 24-120mm-equivalent zoom which gets you a longer reach with an f/4 all the way through the focal range.

I may have to add this to the camera bag. I walk around NYC all the time, and ounces count!

Whether you are new to the Fuji system, or looking for an add -on, this camera will not disappoint.

and a little vid from BH

Peak Design Goes Mobile With Some New Tools

My fave walkaround bag is the Peak Design Everyday Sling 10 L. Some of the other bags in the line serve me well as combo office/gear bags (what’s an office?), or a perf weekender backpack.

The design touches on this bag, showed me that workers  know how to make the right kind of camera bag. I will always have a close look at their upcoming products.

Now, when I’m Zooming away on my laptop, I always have my phone next to the computer for slacks, txts, etc. Problem as finding the right compact phone stand.
Tried the Pop-Socket, and while cool, didn’t alway stay where I need it to, especially with any finger movement.

Peak Design came up with a system , that uses interchangeable connectors to stand up/attach/and otherwise put the phone where you need it.
There are good parts and other parts they are working out, but let’s look at the good parts first:
You get a choice of a case that uses magnets to secure the parts. Limited choice right now, but there is a solution. You can get a freestanding magnetic square, attach it to your favorite case and each part pops in like it was made for it. That way, no matter what phone you currently use or change out, you can just add a square and you’re set.
My main use was the phone stand or mobile tripod:

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Holiday Gift Guide 2020 Wrap Up!

How are you doing out there?
No crowded lines at the stores, winter is coming, and you may have tricked out your home work environment just right.
Screen fatigue is real, and hopefully you get a chance to step away and create some content!
Here is a wrap-up of all of the gift guide suggestion this year. Of course, if there are some things that you may need, no harm in gifting yourself, right?

The Work From Home choices
Items to help in video production
Is this the year for a podcast, or just an upgrade on your audio gear?
Sometimes sitting down with a good book, is what you need. Turn off the screens, put down the phone, and dive in.
Sale days have been extended, and you may find some deals still to be had, although timely shipping could be a consideration.

The global situation has caused some items to be delayed, and as they come in , I’ll pos them here.

There are some last minute items that are great as stocking stuffers, or smaller gifts that still have great purpose.

One item that has gone in my bag is the Catalyst AirPod Pro case. Waterproof up to 330 ft, shockproof, and honestly, just a solid case fro your expensive airpods.

Sure, slipping the white case into your pocket is good, depending how you live your life, But for rugged protection, this case is the deal!

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