For those of you who need to snap eye-level photographs of giraffes: Taiwanese gear manufacturer Fishbone has launched a crazy new tripod that literally reaches new heights of image stabilization. Called the Tree-pod, the tripod is designed for capturing photos or videos from way up off the ground. Dan Chung of DSLR News Shooter writes,
The device, otherwise know as the Zhezhi tripod, can reach 3.3m high, weighs about 13 kg and folds to about 90 cm long. It is aluminium alloy in construction and costs a cool $6000 US. In order to position and level the tripod head you can scale the Tree-pod in a similar way to a telegraph pole. Not sure I would trust it myself, but if heights are your thing then maybe it’s worth it.
3.3m is roughly 10.8 feet. The Tree-pod has attachable rungs that allow you to climb up it as if it were a ladder. Uses for it could include getting closer to the moon if your telephoto lens doesn’t have enough reach, and cleaning your home’s gutters when not doing photography.
We’ve seen some very heavy-duty gear lugged out to cover the Olympic games in London this year: some robotic rigs, an 800mm lens that could easily weigh more than the average lady gymnast, and of course, the usual suspects in a packed camera bag. But Guardian photojournalist Dan Chung is traveling light: he’s covering the games with a simple iPhone setup.
Using different combinations of an iPhone 4s, a clip-on Schneider lens and a pair of Canon binoculars, Chung has been live-blogging all aspects of the games. His photos yield surprisingly crisp results, indoors, outdoors and even underwater through a viewing window — which again reinforces the old photographer’s adage that the best camera is the one that’s with you.
Chung uses the Snapseed app to do in-camera/phone edits. You can check out more of Chung’s work on his Guardian blog.
Welcome to camera gear heaven: here’s a glimpse inside the Canon Professional Services office at the London 2012 Olympics. It’s a room that’s absolutely stuffed with cameras, lenses, and accessories from floor to ceiling. The Canon 1D X hasn’t been released to the general public yet, but this room has hundreds of them! Read more…
If you want to live out your fantasies of being a cowboy in the wild west — and don’t mind attracting strange looks — take a look at this slick gun holster camera case by Japanese leather design shop Roberu. Made of leather, the case keeps your mirrorless camera (e.g. Sony NEX, Olympus PEN, Nikon V) in an easy-to-access location around your waist that’s perfect for whenever you need to fast-draw and photograph a fleeting scene. It isn’t cheap though: a single black, dark brown, or camel-colored case will set you back ¥18,900, or roughly $242.
LCD viewfinders are popular tool among DSLR filmmakers for shooting in sunlight and ensuring tack-sharp focusing, but have you considered using one for still photography?
In this video, Portland-based photographer Jimmy Hickey explains some of the strengths and weaknesses of using one for photography. The main pros: you see exactly how the resulting images will look as you’re shooting them, and magnification makes focusing easier. The cons: battery drain and added bulkiness.
What would you pack in your camera bag to shoot the biggest sporting event in the world? PopPhoto has a great interview with Getty photographer Streeter Lecka in which he talks about preparing for (and shooting) the Olympics in London. His daily-basis kit includes two Canon 1D Xs, a 400mm f/2.8, two 70-200mm (f/2.8 and f/4), a 16-35mm f/2.8, and a 15mm fisheye. Here’s how his images are beamed to headquarters:
Getty has our own lines that are hardwired into every single event. Our tech crew came over months before to get an idea of where we’d be shooting. We can just plug in and send from there. The editors are in the media center where they can send it out immediately.
I have a backpack everyday with a computer and a card reader. When I plug it into the wire, push in the card, and press start, it automatically sends everything to the editors. Everything transfers to my computer as well. I also bring a separate little hard drive so I can back up everything I shoot for myself. If I want an original RAW file, I can get it if I want to.
Lecka says he expects to snap 2,000-4,000 photos a day on average.
Unlike most photographers, I hate my camera. I have read hundreds of stories on the Internet in which photographers argue about which cameras are the best and why. There are stories trying to prove that Canon is better than Nikon, or that 4×5 film is better than medium format digital. Camera review websites show scientific-style photographs displaying how much detail they have captured in a dollar bill, or pictures of color checkers and skin tones. They will also show “real-world” and studio tests illustrating how camera A is better than camera B and write long narratives about why. Read more…
This small mountain of gear leads to two very frightening thoughts. Firstly, there’s no ending in sight; one keeps accumulating more and more equipment in order to keep pushing the edge of what’s possible both from a compositional and artistic standpoint, as well as from an image quality standpoint. You’ve either got to have a great day job and very deep pockets, or some good recurring clients.
The second thought is around obsolescence. In the film days, the camera body and lenses lasted a long time; you invested in glass, got a decent body – one that fulfilled your personal needs as a photographer – and then picked the right film for the job. Read more…
Based on some patents filed by Nikon, the company is expected to announce an updated 800mm lens, which will be the largest lens in the current lineup, according to Nikon Rumors. As of now, the 600mm f/4G ED VR is the longest lens Nikon is offering, though Sigma and Canon both have 800mm f/5.6 lenses in their lineups. Read more…
Ever wonder what camera gear NASA astronaut Don Pettit uses to shoot his amazing photographs from the International Space Station? Here’s a portrait of Don floating around on with his massive collection of Nikon DSLRs and lenses. How much of the gear can you identify?