Saturday, 22 November 2014

DATreview Christmas gifts list 2014

The holiday season is here again So here are my gift picks for 2014.

1. Thinktank Photo Perception bags
First up from our friends over at Thinktank Photo one of their newest bags which I am really excited for is the new perception line up, as you guys who read here regularly know I am a huge fan of Thinktank Photo bags.

The Perception range is specifically aimed at micro four thirds users but will accommodate some smaller DSLR’s from Canon and Nikon and has the ability to carry laptops and tablets. It comes in three different sizes the Perception tablet, 15 & pro and two different colours black and taupe.
Check out the Perception range and all their other great bags at Thinktankphoto.com

2. Wacom Intuos Pro Graphics tablet
Wacom have been at the tablet game for ages and have been consistently bringing us great graphics tablets and the new refreshed Intuos are fantastic, in particular the pro range with build in Wi-Fi and 2,048 levels of pressure sensitivity, it’s incredibly accurate. For me these speed up the work flow through photoshop and lightroom, they do take a little getting used to but for someone who has never used one they will soon get the hang of it and really appreciate the benefits.

Available in three different sizes, for me personally I like the medium but the small works well if you’re struggling for desk space.
Check out the Wacom Intuos line up at wacom.com

 3. Rav Power RF-WD01
The Rav Power WD01 wireless file hub is one of my new favourite gadgets and I think it’s a must have in any camera bag. You just never know when this thing will save you, it’s got a built in SD card reader and USB 2.0 port with a massive 3000mAh battery. This thing has enough just to fill even the latest of smart phone

Available in black and white it’s about the same size as one of the bigger smart phones but fits perfectly in a camera bag
Check out the Rav Power WD01 at ravpower.com

4. Japancamerahunter film holders
I am an avid film shooter when I get the time. I particularly like getting away from all the reviewing and digital systems that we all use on a day to day basis. It’s nice to have a little unknown in our lives, if you shoot film chances are you will have seen Bellamy Hunt aka Japancamerahunter online this guy knows his stuff and is a fantastic photographer who likes his film.

These film holders that are available from his site are a must have for film shooters if you have a photographer in your life that still has a love for film trust me they will love these, available in 135(35mm) and 120(mm) and what makes it even better you can buy it with a mystery set of film inside for an extra special gift.
Check out the film case at japancamerahunter.com

5. Twisted Envy “I shoot people” mug
Another neat little gift for the photographer in your life is the “I shoot people” mug from the guys over at Twisted Envy. These great quality printed mugs are sure to raise a smile and are available in two different “I shoot people” designs they also make some great t-shirts in similar designs.

Check them out at twistedenvy.com

 I hope this list helps you choose the gift for the photographer in your life. Feel free to leave a comment below and pop over to our twitter @datreview and give us a follow.

Happy Holidays from DATreview 

Tuesday, 11 November 2014

PC Build Diary

I am finally back blogging after a long break I have finally gotten the time to sit down and write, the last few months for me have been very busy but very exciting. I’ve been setting up my new photography company, getting rid of old and starting fresh in a few areas of my life but I’m going to continue blogging here.

In the next few weeks I’m going to be doing a new PC build dairy as I’m in the process of building my new PC from scratch and thought you might like to see the parts I’m using and why, I’m not a big PC builder so the posts won’t be in dept technical bench marking jargon I’ll let the more experienced builders explain that. I’ll link you to videos and website that I have used for reference where I can.
The parts are all bought and paid for by me and if any part has been sponsored to DATreview I will make you aware of this in the post.

As for Photography related products I have a bunch of these to review and show you so keep checking in for new post check us out on twitter @datreview and tell a friend.


Dean.

Thursday, 27 February 2014

ThinkTank Mirrorless Mover 20 Review

I have been bitten by the mirrorless bug! This all started for me with the need for a more fun smaller camera and at the time the omd-em5 was just released it took me about 10 minutes to decide I must have one!! It was incredible fun to play with and I could see where this would fit into my line up of cameras. Since then it’s been a big thing for me I’m enjoying my photography again, having a whole heap of fun and have invested in some truly great lenses from Olympus so I needed something to carry them in.

That brings me to my review, I looked at a lot of small camera bags from different companies and I did a good deal of research on micro four thirds forums as this was my first foray into the small world of four third cameras I wasn’t sure what I really needed. At that time Thinktank had just announced the mirrorless mover range and to be honest I’ve a soft spot for this company I’ve never had a bag from them go bad or let me down. I had looked at the retrospective 5 and 7 they seemed to be the popular choice on most of the forums I checked out but I liked the look of the mirrorless mover 20.

The construction of the bag is what we have come to expect from Thinktank photo, it’s made from a ballistic fabric which is light weight and very durable and I’ve been using this bag for a number of months and it’s showed no sign of fatigue I’m very impressed with the little bag, Thinktank have given it the same treatment as one of their full size bags, the stitching is great and it comes with a seemed sealed rain cover just like a full sized bag
divider with pocket and sd slots
The interior of the bag is nicely padded on the bottom and sides, the bag comes with two dividers one of which is kind of neat, it has a central spilt so you can put a phone, iPod in or even a card reader it also has space on the sides for some SD cards. I really like this touch not only does it give extra capacity but keeps your cards organised and safe. The roof or lid of the bag has a generous sized pocket with a Velcro fastener, I would have liked a zip here but I can see why Thinktank have gone with Velcro it gives a bit more flexibility. The front of the bag has an organiser pocket with a two part pocket for holding extras, this pocket has a full zip and is a good size now you’re not going to cram a lot into it but it’s there for the essentials.
bag with Olympus 12mm,17mm,12-50mm
all my accessories 
As for holding my gear I’m more than happy to load this bag up to the brim with gear or just take the bare essentials, I’ve packed it recently with most of my kit for a trip away this comprised of my OMD-EM5, 45mm, 12mm, 17mm, 12-50 and HLD-6 so it’s plenty big.

My only real problem with the bag is the shoulder strap it is a little on the basic side for me, it’s not got much in the way of shoulder protection now I wouldn’t say this would put me off buying this bag as its fantastic in every other area it’s just a little problem I have with it personally and it doesn’t stop me using it, I find the bag most comfortable when I have it on my belt sitting on my hip the mirrorless mover 20 has a rear pass through slot so you can attach it to your belt or a belt system like Thinktank’s pro speed belt.
rear pass through pocket for your belt 
bag with all of the above inside
In conclusion I really really do like this bag with my continuing obsession with all things micro four thirds, this bag has served me very well these last few months. It’s got an amazing build quality and has lots of room for all you need to hold, the shoulder strap is a small issue I have but it’s nothing major. If you’re using a mirror less camera get yourself a mirrorless mover.

Check out the mirrorless mover range at thinktankphoto.com

Saturday, 15 February 2014

Spudz Lens Cloth Review

Hey just a quick post from me today, I was going to do a full review for you guys but something came up and it’s been incredibly time consuming hence why the site has been so quiet as of late, but let’s get the ball rolling again with this quick overview of an item that I think everyone show have in there camera bag.
I was sorting through some of my many camera bags and found they all had one item in them that up until this point I didn't realize I had so many and how much I use them they are spudz lens cloths by alpine innovations they if you haven’t already seen them of own one they are little self contained micro fiber cleaning cloths that just pull out of their case and that’s pretty much it but they are great they have a clip on them so you can attach them to pretty much anything like your neck strap, camera bag, car keys its incredible convenient
The micro fiber itself is really good quality and mine have lasted me a long time but they are hand washable also

I've seen so many different types of these and I have a few myself promo Sony and Nikon ones to flags and my lager one in 18% gray so I can use it if I need a quick check

Check out spudz if you don’t already have one at 

Tuesday, 20 August 2013

News: ThinkTank announce new sling bags

The good people over at thinkTank photo have announced a new range of sling bags to their line up the Turnstyle 5,10 & 20 these are the latest in and ever growing line up from thinkTank it is their second sling type bag their first being the sling-o-matic range which I reviewed Here a little while ago.
The new bags look great they are made from the a light weight material we see in their citywalker range and taking from that they are available in the same blue color as the citywalkers and also in a charcoal color. As both a DSLR and micro four thirds user i'm excited to see one of these and excited to see another bag aimed partly at four thirds users after their successful mirrorless mover range (check back for the mirrorless mover 20 review coming soon).

"Think Tank Photo announces the release of a new sling camera bag collection, the TurnStyle™.  Lightweight with easy access, the three TurnStyle™ models are ideal for DSLRs and mirrorless systems. Their soft, body-conforming shape means all-day comfort and their tough water-resistant fabrics offer lasting protection. Easy rotation gives photographers fast access to their gear, including a zippered tablet pocket on all three sizes. These hybrid bags can we be worn as a shoulder sling bag or as a belt pack for increased versatility and comfort.
 The fully customizable interior can be arranged for a DSLR with a 70-200 2.8 or a small mirrorless system. They hold real appeal for urban photographers who are upgrading their systems and need a bag to carry an extra lens or two. Women will love their being lightweight and yet having large carrying capacity in even the small and medium sizes. Delivering the perfect balance of form and function, TurnStyle bags have it all: comfort, versatility, style and rapid access."
overall these look like another great product from a company who must have one of the most envied design departments in the camera industry all these bags are priced at under $100 (€75) so are very competitive and from my experience thinkTank do it right every time.

check em out for yourself on thinktankphoto.com

Carry Speed FS-PRO Review

as some of you may know I am a big fan of sling straps these are the types that sit the camera on your hip area and allow for quick access to the camera in a motion that does not move the strap. The reason I like these straps over the normal neck straps that are normally supplied in the camera box is because I like to carry my cameras for a long period of time as a sports photographer I use a large bag with my kit in it but is not always practical to have it on my back when shooting so I take what I need and leave the bag with the rest of its contents so I potentially am away from my main kit bag for 90-120minutes and carrying a canon 1D mk3 and heavy lens it can sometimes be a strain on the neck  and not the most comfortable. In comes the sling strap now I have to admit I've been using black rapid straps and liked them but I've never stopped looking for something just that little bit more practical and a tiny bit more comfortable.
After looking at some alternative straps I seen op-tech neoprene ones that I liked but they lack something and I decided to wait and then I struck gold Carry Speed launched the FS-PRO and the F1 folding plate which I love but more about that later, the beauty about the FS-PRO for me is the neoprene shoulder strap its very high quality its very wide and is 100% grip meaning it stays in place. I recently used this when taking some photos at a charity rugby game not too far from my home and just took my camera (1D mk3) and 70-200 hooked up my new strap and off I went. I had my camera on for around two hours and I’m hooked, its comfortable and it is a lot better designed strap, to adjust the length of the sling is right where it needs to be and is easy to adjust, Carry Speed also employ a three button snap buckle for the points were the strap and shoulder strap attach making it very secure. 
 The piece I like the most and think this is where it wins a lot of votes for me is the F-1 foldable mounting plate, this is the part that attaches the camera to the strap the reason I like this so much is that I use a Feisol tripod and ball head that is arca swiss the F-1 allows direct connection to acra swiss heads due to it being cut for it. And again some smart thinking from Carry Speed the F-1 mounting point has Carry Speeds unique ball head connector which is designed to allow you to fold flat for when you are placing the camera on a flat surface. The F-1 is a real winner for me, I started out looking for a little more practicality and ended up with a lot more.
Also bundled with the FS-PRO at the moment is Carry Speeds new hand strap which is a nice added extra, I’ve not had a chance to use this fully so my opinion on this is limited but I have recently become the proud owner of an Olympus OMD-EM5 and this is where I will test the Carry Speed hand strap so keep checking back for a short review on that.

In conclusion the Carry Speed FS-PRO is my new favourite Sling strap, it offers a lot of features and comfort and it’s the small things like the folding F-1 plate and its arca swiss ready design the strap itself is solid and the large neoprene shoulder strap is by far the nicest I’ve used, this is why I highly recommend the Carry Speed FS-PRO. 

Check out the Carry Speed range over at carryspeed.com

Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Readr App By PixelMags Review

This is a bit away from the normal reviews I do, it’s normally camera accessories and book reviews, I've never reviewed an app before but this is one I’m hoping leads to a few more. As you may know I use an iPad and I do use it quite a lot I would also be a big fan of photography magazines I wouldn't buy every issue every week but I do browse through a lot of magazines. The iPad is a great tool for any form of reading and with the way print media is going it has become incredibly popular to read digital editions of your favorite magazine, and pixelmags are one of the companies bringing you some of the best titles out there, i will link their video below as they explain it better than I can. (By the way nice video pixelmags)
There is an ever growing number of photography magazines and with a lot of these producing digital editions it's getting equally as hard to spend your money on the magazine you want, browsing in a book store or news stand was not available to digital edition readers like me until now. In steps the very cool Readr app from the people over at pixelmags the beauty of this app is that it allows you to browse through magazines like you would at the news stand or book store. It’s pretty simple download the app (free) and sign up to pixelmags service this allows you to have 20 minutes of anytime browsing free per month. You can also sign up to unlimited anytime browsing for a small fee per month, its €8.99 here in Ireland but will be the equivalent in dollar and pounds.
What you get for your monthly fee is pretty great, the Readr app currently has an estimated 23 photography titles and 10,000 issues in categories like art, travel, news, sport etc. All the newest magazines I have noticed are on there at the same time I see them on the shelves in local shops, there is no delay. Another thing I really like is the access to the back issues of magazines, with photography magazines from 1 month, 4 months, even 12 months they are still useful the technology may have changed but the techniques are still the same.
In use I really like this app it’s got a good layout and is not too complicated to use, I found it very quick especially with a lot of titles it doesn't stick or get bogged down. It keeps all your titles organised for you so if you have multiple issues of the same title they will all be neatly stacked for you in your library, the app also has the facility to purchase the magazine if you want to have access to it even if you run out of your 20 minutes. But for me the unlimited €8.99 a month option is a no brainier I read quiet a lot and enjoy other types of magazines not just photography ones, this app gives me access when I want online and offline.

I highly recommend this app it will keep you entertained and informed about all those new gadgets in the photography world and bring you some stunning photographs by great photographers and all in the palm of your hand whenever you need it.

Check out the Readr app here on itunes
and check out pixelmags on pixelmags.com