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Lightweight, Convenient and Protective


At this year’s Wedding and Portrait Photography International expo, I spent several hours talking to vendors of cameras, equipment, accessories and services. The people at the Think Tank booth, gifted me a small accessory for everyday use.


This accessory goes by an unorthodox name: My 2nd Brain 11. I suppose the name suggests that all of your necessities can be easily kept in this single case.

The “11” refers to the size of a tablet or notebook that it can hold, in this instance an 11″ model of either.

Load up the case with what you need, throw it over your shoulder and you’re ready to attack the world.



The inner pocket is well padded and provides protection for my iPad. The outer pocket is perfect for holding my cell phone. A non-zippered pocket on the reverse side conveniently holds standard letter-size papers.

The case opens wide and has several elastic-mesh pockets for securely holding pens, business cards, notepads, more. The padded shoulder strap is fully adjustable.

My 2nd Brain 11 comes in black and green. The suggested price of My 2nd Brain 11 is $85.

Think Tank also has larger My 2nd Brain cases for 13″ and 15″ tablets or notebooks.

For more information, please visit Think Tank.


 

 
Written by: Arnie Lee

 

 


 

 

Earlier this month I visited several of the photo equipment manufacturers at the annual Consumer Electronics Show. Of course the two majors are Canon and Nikon. And while sales by other camera makers including Sony, Olympus, Pentax and Fuji trail by a large margin, new features continue to arrive rapidly among all new models by all manufacturers. This year, one feature that was common in many models is the addition of wireless functionality.

Since CES, I’ve acquired and tested two of the new DLSRs with wireless capabilities: the Canon 6D and the Nikon D600.

Here’s a quick report on how wireless works with the Canon 6D.

The 6D is the newest DSLR from Canon. Its full-frame sensor has a resolution of 20MB with good low light performance. Its autofocus system uses 11 focus points. Compared to it’s bigger brother the 5D Mark III, it is smaller in size, lighter in weight and less expensive.

The two “new” built-in features are the GPS receiver and its wireless capability. Having GPS automatically adds location information (latitude, longitude and altitude) to the EXIF data of the images.

My interest in the 6D was to see how its wireless capabilities worked.


The Canon 6D can communicate wirelessly with several types of devices: another camera, a smartphone, a printer, a web service or a DLNA device.

For this review I’ll describe my experience connecting with a smartphone. For wireless, there’s a few preliminaries that have to be performed.

The first is to give the 6D a wireless identifier. This step takes just a few minutes using the menus on the back of the camera. Here I’ve set it up with the identifier “Arnie 6D“.

By completing this step, the 6D is now its own wireless station.


The 6D can be used with either an Android or iPhone smartphone.

You’ll first have to install the free EOS Remote app for your particular smartphone.

In my case, I installed the app onto my iPhone.

Using the Settings menu on the iPhone, you connect to the camera with Wi-Fi. Look for the camera’s identifier – Arnie 6D.

For security, you’ll have to enter the Encryption Key to establish the connection.


After the camera and smartphone are connected, the EOS Remote app is ready to use.

It can perform two different functions.

Firstly, you can view the images that have been captured with the 6D.

Secondly, you can use the smartphone as a remote shutter release.


Viewing Images from camera

Choosing Camera Image Viewing brings us to a screen on the smartphone that looks like this.

By default the thumbnails are ordered by date but this can be changed to order them by rating (1 to 5 stars) or folder (if multiple folders are on the camera’s SD card).

In addition to the thumbnail, the technical data each image is also presented. This is helpful if you plan to evaluate the images while still in the field with the purpose of adjusting the settings.


Tapping one of the thumbnails presents a larger version of the thumbnail. For each image you can:

  • Download – to smartphone (1920 x 1280 jpg)
  • Email – send image with a text message
  • Rate – 1 to 5 stars
  • Delete – removes it from the camera

Capturing Images using the smartphone

Your smartphone can be used as a remote shutter release with extra capabilities.

Here I’ve set the camera on a tripod.

Choosing Remote Shooting activates the 6D Liveview. The smartphone then presents the same view as the camera.

By tapping on the different areas of the smartphone screen, I can change the autofocus.

Depending on the 6D’s mode setting I can also change the ISO, shutter speed, aperture and exposure compensation using the smartphone.

Another simple tap and the camera shutter is released.


Here’s the image that I took remotely.

And of course, the just captured image is immediately available if I change back to EOS Remote’s Camera Image Viewing.


There’s nothing earth shattering with this wireless capability. Yes, you can easily transfer images from the 6D to your smartphone and send them via email to others. And yes, it allows for backup, however the images are reduced to a smaller 1920 x 1280 jpg size.

I’ll cover more soon in another article about the Canon 6D’s wireless capability with a computer.

Also in the works is an article about the Nikon D600’s wireless capability.

 

 

Written by Arnie Lee

 

 

Eye-Fi Card – wow!

23rd April 2011

Innovative New Feature Makes the Eye-Fi Even More Valuable

 

A few months ago, I ran into Ziv Gillat, one of the co-founders of Eye-Fi at a photography trade show. His company developed a set of SD-cards that can send images directly from your digital camera to your personal computer by way of a local wi-fi network.

For background information about these cards, you can read the original review of the Eye-Fi from a few weeks ago here.

Anyway, Ziv was excited to tell me about a new feature that the company was developing. Finally last week, Eye-Fi unveiled a fascinating new capability for any of their X2 series cards.

With this free update, the Eye-Fi can now send images directly to a mobile device – either an iPhone, iPad or Android. By itself, this provides an automated way to backup your images.

On the mobile device, you’ll need to download and install either an iPhone/iPad app or an Android app. These free mobile apps (also provided by Eye-Fi) receive the images from the Eye-Fi card.

The apps provide another very useful feature – they let you resend the images to other online sites. And since they use cellular to upload, the mobile devices replace the personal computer.

To use the new capability which the company calls Direct Mode, I downloaded and installed an update to the included Eye-Fi Center software that is used to configure the SD-card. Using one of the dialogs, I added my iPhone and Android device to my list of supported wi-fi networks. Next I installed the Eye-Fi iPhone app from the iTunes website (and later the Android app from Market) and I was ready to give Direct Mode a try.
(more…)

Note:
Two years ago when I originally wrote this article, sales of GPS Navigation devices were in high gear. Most of you already know how a GPS device works:

  1. receives multiple satellite signals
  2. determines the geographic location by 3D triangulation
  3. displays your position superimposed on a map on its small LCD screen
  4. accepts your desired destination
  5. provides driving turn by turn instructions to reach the destination

I was interested in adding location data to my snapshots – “geotagging”. Geotagging is equivalent to performing steps 1. and 2. I found my geotagging solution in the reasonably priced PhotoTrackr.
(more…)

We’re excited. We’ve released all of our SF Guides for five popular DSLRs as apps for the iPhone and iPod Touch.

  • Canon XS
  • Canon XSi
  • Nikon D40
  • Nikon D60
  • Nikon D3000

Each is a complete a 180-page book filled with before and after techniques showing you how to take even better photos. The apps feature easy-to-use navigation, thumbnails and bookmarking for finding and recalling your place. And the iPhone or iPod Touch give you a very convenient way to take it with you. You can purchase any of these apps from iTunes.

If you’d rather read the printed versions of these books, please click here.

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