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Joby Wrist Strap

27th March 2014

Another “Handy” Accessory

Earlier this month I stopped by the Joby’s booth at the Wedding & Portrait Photographer’s International Expo. There I picked up one of their DSLR Wrist Straps.

While this is not a particularly sexy accessory, I’ve found it to be quite practical. Instead of a conventional shoulder strap which I have to slide off my shoulder in order to use the camera, the wrist strap lets me hold the camera conveniently and safely. It’s especially useful when I’m shooting from a single location and am not transporting the camera distances. The camera is there in my hand ready to shoot immediately.


The strap attaches to one of the camera strap lugs. The adjustable “loop” slides snugly across your wrist giving you a safe grip.

This inexpensive DSLR Wrist Strap is made of heavy-duty webbed material and costs about $15. For more information please visit Joby’s online website.
 
 
Reviewed by Arnie Lee
 
 


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Hand Grip and Shoulder Strap Combo

For much of my shooting, I’m out in the field exploring and enjoying the outdoors, nature and landscapes: you get the picture. I like to travel light so I rarely use a camera bag or backpack. As I’m walking, hiking, climbing, bending, kneeling and at times crawling, my cameras get a mighty good workout from jostling around on my shoulder and banging against my side.

Occasionally, I’ve used various camera shoulder straps. While these provide ample padding to cushion the weight on my shoulder, they do little to prevent the camera from swinging back and forth as I’m moving.

As I was wandering through PhotoPlus Expo recently, I stopped by the Joby booth where their rep Kate showed me a new hand grip/shoulder strap combo.

The UltraFit Hand Strap lets you comfortably hold the camera without having to use any finger pressure. You can carry a heavy DSLR with minimal effort and without the fear of dropping it.

You can also see the shoulder strap that’s hanging below the hand grip that Kate is holding.

Flip the camera over and you’ll see that the hand grip attaches to the camera body with a Swiss-Arca style flat plate.

For times when you want a hands-off way of carrying the camera you can screw Joby’s Pro Sling Strap to the plate. A short but strong tethering line minimizes the swing of the camera as it hangs from your shoulder.

 

The UltraFit Hand Strap with Plate sells for about $35. The Pro Sling Strap sells for about $30.

After talking to Joby and seeing it in action, I’ve already placed a set of these on order.

 

 
Written by: Arnie Lee

 

 


 

 

 

 

The Case For a Tripod

I’ve never been a big user of tripods. I have nothing against using them and in fact I own several of them. I use a tripod mostly around the studio when shooting still life and products. But when I’m shooting out of the studio, I rarely take one along. I like the lightweight freedom and try to minimize the amount of gear that I carry. And I am not very patient trying to set up for a shot. When traveling by airplane a tripod is just not very convenient.

 

That being said, I found a tripod very helpful on my most recent outing.

To be completely truthful, I didn’t use a conventional tripod. Instead I carried a Joby Gorillapod.

The Gorillapod is a very lightweight flexible stand. It has a 1/4″x20 screw for mounting to your camera’s tripod socket. Its legs are jointed and bendable to provide a stable platform even when rested on uneven surfaces.

I carried a Gorillapod with me while exploring Antelope Canyon in northern Arizona. These are slot canyons formed from sandstone and carved by wind and water over millions of years. What is thrilling about these formations is that light filters it way from above through narrow passages creating amazingly colorful visuals as you hike through the passageways.

 

During daylight, the canyon is dimly lit yet remains easily and comfortably walkable. Photographically, there is enough light in some areas to shoot handheld. However to capture images of some of the more dimly lit rock faces, you’ll need to use longer exposure times e.g. 1/2 second or longer. Not many of us can handhold at these slower shutter speeds.

Knowing this ahead of time, I mounted one of my cameras on the Gorillapod. As you can see from its short legs, when placed on the ground it’s not convenient to use unless you’re kneeling down. In the canyon, the rocks are the perfect surface on which to rest this mini tripod.

For much of the tour, I’m looking upwards towards the light entering the canyon from above. To capture a long exposure, I twisted the legs to conform with the contour of an adjacent rock surface to make a “rock steady” platform. I used this technique for exposures up to two full seconds.

If you too are a non-tripod guy like me, you might find it useful during one of these outings to include a very portable tripod. There are several brands of portable steadying devices. You can find out more about the one I used at Joby Gorillapod

If you’re interested in visiting these amazing slot canyons located near Page, Arizona, you’ll want to book a tour with one of the five Navajo owned companies. I chose an extended photo tour 2-1/2 hours instead of the normal 1-1/2 hour tours. I booked through Antelope Canyon Tours and our tour guide Rosie was splendid in pointing out many of the colorful formations and giving us photo shooting tips.

 

 

Written by: Arnie Lee

 

 


 

 

 

 

Neat Stuff at the CES

13th January 2011

The 2011 Consumer Electronics Show

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You might think that after more than twenty-five years of attending the Consumer Electronics Show, I’d grow weary of the annual (CES used to take place twice a year) trek.

Showhow, there’s always lots of excitement in getting your hands on some of the new gadgets that will soon be making their way to the market.