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

Saturday, 4 May 2013

ThinkTank Sling-O-Matic 30 Review

This is a bag I got some time ago and I’m only getting a chance to write about it now. This is the first sling type bag I have ever owned it was never something I desired from a camera bag before as I carry a shoulder bag, most of the time even when I’m not carrying a camera and lenses I have a messenger style bag for work stuff and my iPad, one of the big turn offs for me was at the time the only sling bag on the market had a one shoulder option meaning it could only be held on the same shoulder. Now I’m a serial carrier what I mean by that is when I pack a bag I take a lot of gear, it’s a habit I plan on breaking with the addition of my Olympus OMD-EM5 to my kit.
I seen a review online by Jared Polin of froknowsphoto.com on the sling-o-matic and it changed my opinion, the one thing that did it for me was the fact that you can use it on either shoulder this is down to some very clever design from Thinktank, the way the bag is constructed is like a mirror the back and front side are identical this is the beauty of the bag, it works on a rail system were you can slide the top part of the padded shoulder strap  and with a quick twist it can be worn on either shoulder. I myself really like the fact that you can do this when carrying a lot of gear, shoulder bags are a bit of a turn off due to all that weight on one shoulder but not with the sling-o-matic it’s a nice bag to carry a 70-200 2.8. When using the sling-o-matic 30 version I found it big enough to swallow up a lot of my gear. 

Now if I’m being honest I’m not the biggest fan of this bags looks don’t get me wrong the design is fantastic but cosmetically it’s not Thinktank's most attractive bag but hey that’s more down to personal choice, but I do have to say this is a very casual bag I found it very easy to pick up and go. The large padded strap is very well padded and overall I found it comfy, there is plenty of room for a big guy like myself. It’s nice to use when I am just shooting casually I might go and attend a local Gaelic football match just to keep in the loop and the sling-o-matic 30 and a 70-200 f2.8 are great together.
The sling-o-matic 30 has lots of usual pockets we expect from Thinktank it’s got its seem sealed rain cover and the 30 is big enough to carry a 15.4” laptop this bag also has a large side pocket which came in handy when I want to bring my feisol CT3442, it comes supplied with some tripod straps also these can be fitted or removed very easily so when you are not carrying a tripod they’re not getting in the way. It has some very convenient carry handles located all around the bag I found these particularly handy when grabbing it out of the car or when the bag is off my shoulder.
Overall impressions are good this bag is solid, very comfortable to use. While not being the the most attractive bag on the market, its design is beautiful with the sliding shoulder strap allowing use of the bag on both shoulders this really does help when carrying any amount of gear. If like me you’re not a big fan of sling bags try the sling-o-matic range out I’m sure you will become a fan.

Check out the full sling-o-matic range at thinktankphoto.com
Tripod featured CT3442 from feisoleurope.com


Tuesday, 16 April 2013

The Grablet For iPad Review

This is a product which was kindly sent to me for review by the good people over at Flaghead photographic, quick thanks to them for that. I have really enjoyed using the Grablet this is another one of those items that is not photography related but as photographers we find ourselves using. I currently own an iPad 3 and whilst it is great it can sometimes be a pain to hold for a long period of time if I’m making a journey I like to use it quite a lot even some of the reviews on here are drafted on the iPad as I’m travelling I also do quick edits on the move if I need to but in general watching movies and keeping myself busy.
Up until receiving this I used a standard folio type case with an elastic strap and while it offers great protection it doesn't make the iPad any easier to hold, the Grablet on the other hand makes things a hell of a lot easier. It is a skeletal design with four connection points to hold it to the iPad corners, I was a little dubious of this at first I didn't want my €500+ iPad taking a dive but as soon as I put this on my iPad I knew I wouldn't have anything to worry about, the connection points on the corner are solid, another nice thing about it is if you want you can use the Apple smart covers to protect the iPad screen the Grablet doesn't get in the way.
Another thing I didn't like about my old folio type case is that the buttons on the side of the iPad and even the camera didn't seem to line up correct no matter how many times I tried and they made the buttons spongy if they were covered no such problem with the Grablet its design lets you use the iPad buttons with no obstructions, and even down to the little hole for the camera its perfect.
The Grablet itself is made out of TPU thats thermal plastic polyurethane giving it rubber like indestructible qualities it will literally bend and twist, the Grablet is incredibly easy to set up just pop the connecting parts of the hand strap to the holes in the Grablet and away you go it has adjusters for each corner to get it fitting perfect, it comes with two different types of hand strap one wider than the other and with a ring attaching point for attaching it to a sling or lanyard.

I've used this quite a lot since receiving it and I can say it’s one of those items that will be attached to my iPad in my camera bag for a long time. It is solidly built and comfortable it comes in lots of different colors so you can add your own twist to it, if you need a case for you iPad this is one to strongly consider.

Check out the Grablet at flaghead.co.uk