Announced: Three Miggo Water-Proof Bags for Cameras and Drones

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Miggo has announced three new bags to add to its collection of water-resistant camera bags, including one designed specifically for drones. In addition to the Splat Flexible Tripods and clever Strap & Wraps, miggo is making a name for itself, thanks to its line of Stormproof camera bags, and these new additions will only enhance that efficacious reputation.

The largest and most versatile of the three new bags is the Agua Versa Backpack 90, which enables three carrying configurations and can hold a DSLR along with two or three lenses, including 70-200mm f/2.8 lens and a laptop up to 14.5″. Aimed at photographers who won’t balk at inclement weather, but also very practical as a standard backpack, the Versa 90 can be worn conventionally, with the straps crisscrossed over the chest, or as a sling with one cross-body strap. Each of these styles can be configured easily and there is, of course, a built-in top handle and waist belt. The main access to the pack is on the side, which is ideal when configured as a sling. Inside is the removable equipment pouch with top-carry handles that can be used separately from the backpack. It also provides an organizational pocket on the side and an easily accessible pocket on the front for phones, notebooks, eyeglasses or other thin and important items.

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miggo Agua Versa Backpack 90

Two interesting features of this bag are its integrated and covered USB panel for charging items with a separately available power bank, and its padded rear panel that provides a pass-through to mount on a rolling suitcase. Anyone who has tried to hook a backpack to a rolling case will appreciate this design touch.

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How to Stop the Grinch: A Basic Holiday Season Guide to Home Surveillance

Author: admin  |  Category: Best Photo Sharing, Digital Cameras

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We’ve all seen the YouTube videos showcasing strangers driving around neighborhoods and stealing packages from random porches and driveways. What are you supposed to do if you are out all day? What if you don’t have the time to spend jockeying for position in the shops and department stores? For those who work all day and don’t have a choice except to shop online (like 46% of shoppers in the US), an even bigger problem presents itself—how do you keep delivered packages safe when you’re not at home?

There are ways to watch the outside of your house remotely so that you can keep an eye on your packages when you are not home. For instance, three of the most popular wireless surveillance cameras, the Nest Cam, the FLIR FX (sold as an Indoor and Outdoor Camera Kit), and the Samsung SmartCam are all available in outdoor versions or with outdoor housings (which will keep your camera safe from the elements). These cameras all have 1080p high-res video, a wide field of view, audio capabilities, and night vision—all options that are great for small security systems. But most importantly, they are all Wi-Fi enabled, making them easier to install, since you do not have to run a slew of video cables back into the house. You can also use a mobile app to view your home while you are away, or record video in case you do have an unwanted visitor.

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Gitzo Pursues Greater Balance with the New Gitzo Gimbal Fluid Head

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Celebrating 100 years of making fantastic camera supports, Gitzo has thrown its hat into the not-too-deep market of gimbal tripod heads with its new Gitzo Gimbal Fluid Head.

The gimbal head is designed specifically for very large telephoto lenses. The lens mounts directly on the gimbal head near the center of gravity of the camera/lens combination in such a way that the camera and lens remain stable even when not being held by the photographer.

Gitzo’s gimbal has a fluid cartridge, common on video tripods, that damps vibrations and keeps your movements smooth—especially useful when tracking moving subjects or when doing videography. The cartridge features an innovative fluidity control system, the whip-pan, that gives absolute control and helps ensure that high-speed panning does not destabilize the rig. The magnesium die cast structure is rated for 17.6 lb while only weighing 3 lb.

Your lens is attached to the Gitzo Gimbal Fluid Head with an Arca-type compatible plate.

If you are a fan of Gitzo’s beautiful tripods and own large telephoto lenses, but resisted getting a gimbal head in the past because the finish did not match your Noir Décor-finished tripod, you are now in luck!

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The Best Mirrorless Cameras of 2017

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In another exciting year for mirrorless cameras, we have seen the arrival of several models that continue to raise the bar for photo and video performance. With options ranging from compact retro designs to rugged SLR-style powerhouses, there has never been a better time to take the leap to a mirrorless system.

Panasonic Releases High-End Options for Photo and Video

We will start with Panasonic—the manufacturer has had a very prolific year, with three new mirrorless releases in the Micro Four Thirds format. Officially revealed in January, the 20.3MP Lumix DC-GH5 was cause to rejoice among video fans who coveted a portable system because it is capable of 4K video at up to 60 fps and features internal 10-bit 4:2:2 recording at resolutions up to DCI 4K at 24 fps. On top of these already impressive specs, it records at up to 180 fps in Full HD 1080p and even offers a 6K anamorphic mode for using those specialized lenses. A full-size HDMI port is available, as well, for getting 10-bit video at up to 4K 60p, and 5-axis image stabilization can help smooth out handheld shots. The GH5 doesn’t forget about photographers either, with 12 fps shooting in full resolution or even a 6K PHOTO mode that can capture 18MP images at 30 fps.

Not content with simply focusing on video, Panasonic has also released the photo-centric Lumix DC-G9. It incorporates the 20.3MP sensor with 5-axis stabilization from the GH5, but directs its processing power to achieve 60 fps with the electronic shutter function. The G9 also brings an 80MP high-resolution mode for use with still subjects, which takes advantage of its sensor-shift IS to capture and compile eight sequential images into a single, massive raw file. Its large 0.83x EVF achieves a 120-fps refresh rate for lag-free viewing, while a 225-area depth-from-defocus AF system can produce stills at 20 fps with continuous autofocus. This versatile package is made complete with extensive weather sealing, dual SD card slots, and built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth to make for a powerhouse of a camera. Not to mention that the G9 also does UHD 4K at 60 fps and Full HD 1080p at 180 fps, remaining competitive in the video department, as well.

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10 Tips and Tricks for Photographing Holiday Lights and Candles

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Besides getting awesome gifts from your B&H wish list, one of the best parts of the holiday season is the beautiful lights and candles that seem to decorate every neighborhood, shopping area, and home.

As stunning as some lights are to see, they can be even more fun to photograph. Here are some tips on how to make the most of your captures of holiday lights.

1. Use Low-Light / Night Photography Techniques

The best time to view holiday lights is when the lights go down (indoors and outside). Therefore, you will benefit from the tried-and-true practices of night photographers when capturing holiday lights. Basic things like using a tripod and a remote shutter release will help you get the best photos of the lights.

For a great list of night photo tips, click here, and for tips on focusing at night, click here. If you need to get outfitted for holiday-light photography, click here.

2. Plan Your Shots

Depending on where you are shooting, it might be best to photograph scenes with outdoor lights around dusk. Why? Ambient light can help your image. If you are photographing a home or building that has beautiful holiday lights, capturing the scene when there is still some light in the sky will allow you to better include the surrounding terrain like trees, bushes, other structures, and the sky. Shooting the same scene in full darkness may have your photograph looking like lights around a dark building under a dark sky in front of a dark tree (if you can still see the tree).

Urban environments are a bit more forgiving for late-night holiday light capture.

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7 All-In-One Portable Speaker Systems for Special Events and Parties

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Every day, someone needs some sound amplified. Maybe it’s just one mic for a fast-talking auctioneer, a mic and a laptop for that better-be-good wedding DJ, or multiple mics and instruments for a band hoping to get their music heard by the right people. In times like these, large-scale systems are absolute overkill, and that tiny Bluetooth speaker you carry around in your bag is no good, either. This is where portable PA systems are perfect. Here are seven of them from Bose®, Sennheiser, JBL, Behringer, Denon, Galaxy Audio, and ION Audio, each with a different set of advantages.

ION Audio Pathfinder

The Pathfinder is waterproof and powered via its internal rechargeable battery or connection to AC power, making it a great choice for moisture-laden outdoor events where electrical outlets aren’t readily available. Frequent transport won’t be a problem, thanks to its side handles, a telescoping luggage handle, and built-in wheels. It has an 8″ woofer, 3″ tweeter, and 100W peak power rating. To get you going with music, it comes with an integrated AM/FM radio and a Bluetooth receiver. For non-Bluetooth devices, there’s a standard 3.5mm stereo input. Bluetooth or not, you can charge your smartphone or tablet via the USB charging port. Microphone connectivity is about as simple as it can be. Plug a dynamic mic such as the included one into the 1/4″ jack via the supplied cable. A neat little perk is the sound-reactive LED bar. Sure, it won’t compete with an all-out light show, but it does add some extra visual pizzazz. From hangouts at the pool or lake to small parties and presentations, the Pathfinder has a place.

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Our Five Favorite Speedlight Modifiers

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Speedlights have grown in popularity over the years, especially as low-cost options have begun to flood the market and make more elaborate lighting kits accessible to beginners and advanced amateurs. However, these compact on-camera flashes, while good, are still limited by their placement on or near the camera and their usually very direct lighting. Once you start comparing them to full-fledged monolights and power pack systems, their limited feature set tends to become evident. Fortunately, along with the influx of flash options a major wave of modifiers has hit the market, providing photographers with a healthy sampling of tools to improve the quality or look of their portable lights. Here’s a look at some of our favorite modifier options for on-camera lighting.

Dome Diffusers and Lightspheres

Often found packaged with many speedlights, the venerable dome diffuser is a much-loved pick due to it not taking up much space in the bag, affordability, and effectiveness. One of the most often sought-out tools in lighting is a softbox to, obviously, soften the light, and the dome diffuser is a good way to do that with an on-camera light. Simply enough, you pop the dome on the flash head and then point your flash toward a ceiling or wall, creating an enormous light source that is inherently soft. If you are finding the bundled dome lacking, many photographers find the Gary Fong Lightsphere to be a great addition to their kit with a larger, adjustable design that can accept multiple domes for different color effects. Another bonus is the flexible material, which collapses for easy storage.

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Leica Unveils Compact CL Mirrorless Camera and TL 18mm Lens

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Leica has seen fit to expand its mirrorless ranks, this time by creating the CL, a compact and intuitive APS-C camera with a built-in electronic viewfinder. Compared to its APS-C sibling, the TL2, the CL changes things up with more tactile controls and dials that will appeal to photographers who desire a more classic look and feel. It features an aluminum top and bottom, along with a magnesium-alloy chassis for a combination of durability and light weight. The camera has a leather wrap that provides a feel more reminiscent of Leica’s flagship M series. Alongside this new camera is a new lens: the Elmarit-TL 18mm f/2.8 ASPH. This ultra-compact pancake lens provides a 27mm equivalent focal length that will pair wonderfully with the versatility and size of the CL.

The main and most obvious differentiator of the CL is the built-in 2.36m-dot electronic viewfinder with 0.74x magnification, providing intuitive and fast operation for photographers. It also takes steps to provide more physical controls, including two dials on the top, each with a separate customizable button, and a top display for checking settings without needing to bring the camera back up to eye level. Beyond this, the CL is equipped with the latest tech for creating sharp images, including a 24.2MP APS-C CMOS sensor and the Leica Maestro II image processor, delivering fast shooting at up to 10 fps with either the mechanical or electronic shutter and the ability to record UHD 4K video at 30 fps. Another benefit of this imaging system is a 49-point contrast-detection AF system and a sensitivity range of ISO 100-50000. That isn’t all, since the camera also offers shutter speeds of up to 1/8000 second with the mechanical shutter and 1/25000 second with the electronic shutter.

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Everything You Need to Know Before Buying a Telescope

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Humans’ fascination with the stars is as old as our ability to think and ask questions. For millennia we, as a species, were limited to observing the heavens with just our eyes. Of course, back then we were able to see more because light pollution didn’t exist, but making detailed observations was impossible. The invention of the microscope led to the development of the telescope, which allowed people to finally start exploring the larger universe. As technological advances were made and telescopes got bigger and better, their reach and the details they could resolve became broader and more intricate. These advances caused us to question doctrines that many believed were immutable, and doubt institutions we were taught infallible. Astronomy led the way to the acceptance of science, the rise of the Enlightenment, and incalculable advances not only to our understanding of our world and universe, but also the philosophical questions about our place in that world.

The History

In the late 1500s, two Dutch eyeglass makers, father and son Zaccharias and Hans Janssen, developed and began experimenting on a crude microscopic device. Their work was disseminated, as inventions often are, and it wasn’t long before someone built on their microscopy work and reconfigured their lenses to bring distant objects closer. The first patent application for a telescope was by another Dutch eyeglass maker named Hans Lippershey, in 1608. The Janssens and Lippershey lived in the same town and evidence suggests that they not only knew each other, but influenced each other’s work. Compounding the confusion, yet another Nederlander, Jacob Metius, applied for a patent for a telescope a few weeks after Lippershey. The government of the Netherlands eventually rejected both applications because of the counterclaims, and, officials said, the device was easy to reproduce, making it difficult to patent. In the end, Lippershey is credited with inventing the telescope and the Janssens the microscope.

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A Gift Guide to Headlamps

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At the turn of the 20th Century, the only people who wore lamps on their heads were miners. Those early headlamps burned acetylene gas, until Thomas Edison invented an electric model, in 1914. Miners still wear headlamps today, as do dentists, doctors, electricians, plumbers, and many other professionals. The technology has evolved from gas flame to incandescent bulb to LED, but the principle is the same: you just can’t beat hands-free, portable light.

Of course, headlamps aren’t just for digging coal and drilling teeth. They’re perfect for a great many recreational and around-the-house tasks: walking the dog, repairing a car, cycling, setting up camp after sunset. I use mine for tying on a fly while fishing at night. A colleague wears one while setting up his telescope for stargazing. If the power goes out, a headlamp frees your hands to get your household ready to weather the outage. And if the adults don’t have a use for them at the moment, kids can have a ball with headlamps, indoors or out.

There are slim ultralight models you’ll barely notice when out for a run, and powerful, rugged units that can stand up to the elements and heavy use. They come in a wide range of styles and prices, and they make terrific gifts.

Lightweight Lights

Runners will appreciate the 1.7-ounce NU20 USB Rechargeable Headlamp from Nitecore, a brand known for high-end flashlights. Plug in the micro USB and two hours later, you’ll have a featherweight light with four brightness settings, from 1 to 360 lumens. The lamp shines a wide, 100-degree beam, and it tilts so you can position the beam to your liking. It’s available in seven cheery colors.

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