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Hammer & Anvil MK-SLR100 Directional Condenser Microphone (Review)

July 15, 2016 Comments off

Hammer & Anvil MK SLR100Hammer & Anvil MK-SLR100 Directional Condenser Microphone
Adorama.com
$39.95

All microphones are not created equal. That statement is an overly obvious one to those of you who are in the filmmaking or videography game. However, not everyone knows it. There seems to be this highly outspoken rule that great audio is better than great video. In other words, if your video is mediocre, it doesn’t matter if your sound is great. And no matter how great your video is, if your audio is poor quality, then the whole thing is poor quality. It doesn’t seem fair does it? Well, it isn’t, but since people love great audio, there’s only one thing to do: Purchase great audio equipment for your videos.

The problem with creating great audio is that it’s not cheap to do it. But anything worth doing is worth doing right, so save your money for better equipment. There are some exceptions to the more expensive equipment rule making a better audio product. Hammer & Anvil products transcend that rule. In fact, I’d say that they break it. The HAAMKSLR100 (SLR100) microphone is one of those exceptions. Sure, you can spend more, but you won’t really get more. The SLR100 microphone is a directional condenser mike that delivers great audio for under $40.

Type:   Directional Condenser microphone
Frequency Response:    38-20,000 Hz
Sensitivity:    -40dB +/- 3dB / 0dB=1V/Pa, 1kHz
Signal to Noise Ratio:    75dBOutput
Impedance:    <1k Ohm
Power:    1.5V AAA Battery
Plug:    Mini-Pin Plug (3.5mm)
Dimensions:    109x75x45mm
Net Weight:    52g

I like the SLR100. It’s small, compact, has its own power (AAA battery), has a pop screen, and a “dead kitten” for windy outdoor shooting. You can attach it to a hot or cold shoe or directly to a tripod mount. It also sports a shock mount of sorts on the base. It’s a complete video camera shotgun microphone that delivers very good sound for a small price.

Why it’s Frugal: The HAAMKSLR100 condenser microphone is frugal because it is inexpensive ($39.95), but yet delivers great audio. If you’re on a budget, this is a perfect audio unit to start with. It’s frugal because you get a lot of audio quality for a little money and you can use it with your iDevices, if you buy an adapter/converter

Now, you’re probably asking, “What are the practical applications for this microphone?” That’s a good question. If you’re a YouTuber who doesn’t want to be wired to a lavalier microphone or dish out hundreds of dollars for audio that’s imperceptibly better, then this is the mike for you. Would I use it for filming a documentary that’s going on Netflix? Probably not. Not because it isn’t a great little microphone; it is, but Hammer & Anvil offers some very reasonably priced professional directional microphones for about $100 more and they’re just too tempting to resist. For example, I’m actually reviewing the HAAMKENG600 microphone as I’m writing this post.

HAAMKSLR100 with Pop screenThe HAAMKSLR100 microphone will do just about anything you want it to do and, as I pointed out in the review video, for a few dollars, you can buy a three pole to four pole converter and use this microphone on your iPad or on your iPhone as an external shotgun audio capture device. Awesome.
It’s awesome because you don’t have to blow a lot of extra money buying a microphone specifically designed for your iDevices. You can use this one everywhere and that’s a very good thing.

One of the things that I really love about the SLR100 is that when you turn on the mike, you can see clearly that it’s on because of the green light on the back near the ON/OFF switch. I’ve seen complaints on much higher priced microphones that don’t offer this basic feature. Bravo to the folks at Hammer & Anvil for providing that much needed feature.
Why am I making such a big deal about the ON light, you ask?
Well, after you run down a lot of batteries because you left your mike ON, you’ll understand why. The light clearly lets you know when the unit is ON and when it is OFF. To me, that feature alone is worth $40.

I’m quite pleased with the sound quality that I get from the SLR100. It’s quiet where I need it to be and it picks up sounds that I want it to and all for the price of an afternoon matinee. I’m sold on it. As I said in the video, it’s a solid microphone and deserves the rating I give it.

Adorama.com is a top-notch camera and accessory store for the amateur and the professional alike. This microphone is perfect for those who need something better than the built-in microphones on DSLRs, video cameras, and iDevices.

Rating: 8/10
Recommendation: Buy it for all your general video creation needs. It’s not a pro-grade microphone, but it’s darn nice for $40.

Flashpoint Announces New R2 Radio Remote Lighting System

May 4, 2016 Comments off

New York, NY – May 4, 2016 Flashpoint, a leading manufacturer of professional photography and video equipment, has just has just announced the new Flashpoint R2 lighting line, featuring its R2 wireless radio flash system. The Flashpoint R2 system consists of five new products, compatible with Canon, Nikon and, coming soon, Sony: XPLOR 600, Streaklight TTL, R2 TTL Remote Transmitter and Receiver, Zoom Flash and Zoom Li-on Flash. Also new are Flashpoint R2 bridge units, which introduce R2 compatibility to older Flashpoint Streaklights and Zoom Li-ons.

Shop the brand new family of XPLOR studio lights from Flashpoint

Flashpoint’s R2 wireless flash system utilizes an advanced 2.4GHz radio to control a range of Flashpoint lighting products. The system unifies these products and allows for remote controlling with easy-to-use buttons, reliable channel triggering, group mode selectivity, HSS and LCD panels that clearly display the status of all remote R2-compliant lighting tools being used. It is the latest in remote lighting innovation and is the perfect solution for any photography situation.

Flashpoint XPLOR 600 All-in-One HSS Studio Flash
For the ultimate freedom in lighting exploration, choose the Flashpoint XPLOR 600 TTL all-in-one HSS studio flash with built-in R2 2.4GHz Radio Remote System (Bowens Mount) as a portable lighting solution controlled by remote, with no need for power cords and generators. This monolight is a 600ws strobe powered by an interchangeable, high-energy 11.1-volt Lithium Ion 8700mAh battery and is capable of over 450 full-power flash bursts on a single charge. With advanced settings like FEC, rapid stroboscopic flash, first or second curtain sync, LED modeling, a clear LCD display, upgradable firmware and new camera system compatibility, and 11 advanced options, the XPLOR is a portable powerhouse.

The compact XPLOR 600 TTL can be adjusted to a wide 9 stop range of power levels from 1/256 to full power in 1/3 stop increments. Recycle speed is exceptionally fast, from .01 to 2.5 seconds, with a built-in cooling fan to keep the unit cool and stable. The XPLOR 600 TTL can be triggered in four different ways: via the built-in wireless receiver that speaks with the R2 Transmitter, Optical Systems of Canon and Nikon Speedlights, corded sync, and optical slave.

Also available is the Flashpoint XPLOR 600 all-in-one HSS studio flash, a manual power only model with built-in R2 2.4GHz Radio Remote System (Bowens Mount).

Flashpoint R2 Streaklight 360 TTL
The R2 Streaklight 360 TTL is available in both Canon-compatible and Nikon-compatible models and is a hot shoe, portable bare-bulb flash suited for professional performance. It is also cross-compatible with all on-camera Canon or Nikon TTL controls through the Flashpoint R2 radio system, including automatic TTL exposure control, exposure bias, bracketing, second curtain sync, high-speed sync (HSS), EXIF recording, modeling flash and flash exposure lock. With a 270-degree swivel and a 105-degree tilt head, it provides powerful lighting at every angle.

Flashpoint R2 TTL Transmitter and Receiver
The R2 TTL Wireless Remote Receiver connects all strobes to any tool in the R2 family, including older Flashpoint monolights and strobe lights. The R2 TTL Transmitter attaches to the body of anyCanon, Nikon or Sony camera for full lighting control as well as TTL pass-through.

Flashpoint R2 Zoom Li-on Flash
The R2 Zoom Li-on Flash is powered by a revolutionary internal Lithium Ion battery pack and features TTL connectivity compatible with Canon, Nikon and Sony TTL systems. The strobe features exposure compensation, FV lock, HSS and an automatically zooming flash head to illuminate any situation. With a full power recycle time of less than 1.5 seconds and an advanced Li-on polymer battery, it is quick and powerful, and lasts approximately 650 full-power flashes per charge. A 360-degree rotation and 90-degree tilt makes it perfect for on- and off-camera use at any angle.

Also available is the Flashpoint R2 Zoom Flash, which is powered by AA batteries for flexibility while on the go.

Flashpoint R2 Bridge Receivers
With the R2 Bridge Receiver, any existing non-R2 Flashpoint Streaklight and Zoom Li-on Speedlights can be upgraded to receive signals from the new R2 Radio Remote System. Simply plug into the dedicated port and control remotely.

Pricing and Availability
All new Flashpoint R2 lighting tools are now available for preorder through Adorama:

  • The Flashpoint XPLOR 600 TTL All-in-One HSS Studio Flash is now available for preorder for $749.00 USD
  • The Flashpoint XPLOR 600 All-in-One HSS Studio Flash is now available for preorder for $599.95 USD
  • The Flashpoint R2 Streaklight TTL for Canon, Nikon or Sony is now available for preorder for $519.95 USD and ships with the BP-960 Power Pack
  • The Flashpoint R2 TTL Remote System is now available for preorder for $79.95 USD
  • The Flashpoint R2 Zoom Flash is now available for preorder for $119.95 USD
  • The Flashpoint R2 Zoom Li-on Flash is now available for preorder for $179.95 USD
  • The Flashpoint R2 Bridge Receiver is now available for preorder for $19.95 USD

About Flashpoint
Used by industry professionals who want superior results, Flashpoint produces the highest quality pro lighting and video equipment our market has to offer while maintaining true value, to help our partner photographers in today’s competitive market. Flashpoint’s most popular products include traditional and wireless/portable strobes and monolights, reflectors, flash modifiers, softboxes, light stands, on-camera video lighting, power packs, and camera and lighting accessories.

Flashpoint’s Power Station was recognized by Professional Photographer magazine with a 2014 Hot Ones Award. Available exclusively at Adorama, customers can visit the Flashpoint brand store online to shop: http://www.adorama.com/brands/flashpoint, or visit the Adorama Learning Center to learn more about Flashpoint products: http://www.adorama.com/alc/searchresults/flashpoint.

Shop Adorama’s extensive selection of private label brands.

Polaroid LED Lighting Solutions Shine Bright for Photographers and Videographers

April 27, 2016 Comments off

PolaroidRIDGEFIELD PARK, NJ – April 27, 2016 The Polaroid LED camera/camcorder video lighting line is notably powerful and versatile, shining bright where photographers and videographers need it the most. Supporting a number of camera and camcorder models from top brands including Canon, JVC, Nikon, Olympus, Panasonic, Pentax, Samsung and Sony, Polaroid now has the following lighting solutions available for professionals and enthusiasts alike:

Ultra 350 LED with Barn DoorsPolaroid 350 ultra high-powered super bright LED camera/camcorder video light with barn doors
The Polaroid 350 LED light features an optional diffusion screen to gently soften light and barn doors to direct the light source. The high-powered 350 dual-color LED beam offers variable brightness controls (from 10% to 100% flicker-free) and color temperature controls (between 3200K and 5600K), usable both indoors and outdoors. It can be powered by lithium-ion batteries or through its own power receptacle, making it a versatile lighting solution for photographers and videographers.

Ultra Bright 144 or 312 video/photo lightPolaroid ultra high-powered super bright LED camera/camcorder video light in 312 and 144 LED options
The Polaroid ultra high-powered super bright LED camera/camcorder video light also comes in both a 312 and a 144 dual-color LED arrangement. Both options include variable brightness controls between 10% and 100% and color temperature controls between 3200K and 5600K and are a dimmable, cool-running source ideal for photographers and videographers both indoors and outdoors. The LED lights can be powered via lithium-ion battery or by its own power receptacle. Each model can be attached to a tripod and comes with a diffusion screen for light softening, a built-in camera hot shoe mount and a swivel head adapter. The 312 LED light comes with an additional handgrip for extended shooting options.

102 LED dimmablePolaroid 102 LED dimmable camera/camcorder video light
Designed for use with a flash, the Polaroid 102 LED dimmable light has a 102 LED arrangement with variable brightness control from 10% to 100%. It is a pro-grade, high-powered light that offers a cool-running source for photographers and videographers and is suitable for both indoor and outdoor use. It includes four filters for additional creativity – clear diffuser, white, warming and magenta.  The flexible Velcro mount system supports most flash models.

Pricing and Availability
The Polaroid 350 LED camera/camcorder video light is available now from Amazon for $159.99 USD and ships with a 350 LED light head, 2 lithium-ion batteries, a dual battery charger, a swivel head mounting adapter, a barn door set, a diffusion filter, a carry case, an AC and DC adapter, a UK and EU plug adapter and a manual.

The Polaroid 312 LED camera/camcorder video light is available now from Amazon for $139.95 USD and ships with a 312 LED light, two lithium-ion batteries, a battery charger, a swivel head mounting adapter, a handgrip for off-camera use, a diffusion filter, a carry case, a UK and EU adapter and a manual. For a full list of Polaroid 312 LED light model options, please visithttp://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Dphoto&field-keywords=Polaroid+LED+312&rh=i%3Aphoto%2Ck%3APolaroid+LED+312.

The Polaroid 144 LED camera/camcorder video light is now available from Amazon for $99.99 USD and ships with a 144 LED light, two lithium-ion batteries, a battery charger, a swivel head mounting adapter, a diffusion filter, a carry case, a UK and EU adapter and a manual. For a full list ofPolaroid 144 Led light model options, please visit http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Dphoto&field-keywords=Polaroid+LED+144&rh=i%3Aphoto%2Ck%3APolaroid+LED+144.

The Polaroid 102 LED dimmable camera/camcorder video light is now available from Amazon for $39.99 USD and ships with a 102 LED light, a swivel head shoe mount and four filters.

Request a Media Review Kit
Members of the media are invited to review the Polaroid LED camera/camcorder video lighting solutions. To request a media review kit sample, please contact Mariah Stein atmariah@zazilmediagroup.com.

The Polaroid Brand
Polaroid is one of the most trusted, well-respected and recognizable brands with a rich 75-year history beginning with Polaroid instant film. Our range of products include instant and digital still cameras, high-definition and mountable sports video cameras, tablets and flat-screen TVs that deliver the fun, instant gratification and value for which the brand has long stood. Today, thePolaroid Classic Border Logo rooted in our beginnings of instant photo sharing serves to designate genuine Polaroid branded products. For more information, visit http://www.Polaroid.com.

Polaroid, Polaroid & Pixel, Polaroid Color Spectrum and Polaroid Classic Border Logo are trademarks of PLR IP Holdings, LLC, used under license.

Three Sigma Global Vision Art Lenses Receive Prestigious TIPA Award

April 19, 2016 Comments off

Sigma LogoRONKONKOMA, NY – April 19, 2016 Sigma Corporation of America, a leading DSLR lens, camera, flash and accessory manufacturer, today announced it has received three awards from theTechnical Image Press Association (TIPA). Sigma was awarded with the honors of Best DSLR Telephoto Zoom Lens for the Sigma 50-100mm F1.8 DC HSM Art Lens, Best DSLR Wide Angle Zoom Lens for the Sigma 24-35mm F2 DG HSM Art Lens, and Best Professional DSLR Lens for the Sigma 20mm F1.4 DG HSM Art Lens.

The annual TIPA Awards honor the best photo and imaging products introduced during 2015 through 2016. Renowned in professional photo markets across the world, TIPA awards are among the highest accolades photo and imaging products can receive. The TIPA organization has a worldwide membership of 27 photo and imaging magazines from 16 countries across five continents.

“We are once again honored to have the Sigma 50-100mm F1.8 DC HSM Art Lens, the 24-35mm F2 DG HSM Art Lens and the 20mm F1.4 DG HSM Art Lens selected by TIPA for their outstanding quality and impact on the industry. The thorough judging criteria take into account not only the innovation, but also the use of leading-edge technology, design and ergonomics, ease of use as well as the price/performance ratio. We are incredibly proud to have Sigma lenses meet these high standards,” comments Mark Amir-Hamzeh, president of Sigma Corporation of America. “We pride ourselves on designing and manufacturing the very best lenses using today’s most cutting-edge optical technology. I want to thank the Sigma design and manufacturing team for their commitment to engineering excellence and look forward to seeing the inspiring images Sigma fans will create using our lenses.”

To see a full list of this year’s TIPA Award winners, please visit the official TIPA website.

About the Sigma 50-100mm F1.8 DC HSM Art Lens
The newest addition to the Global Vision Art lens line, the Sigma 50-100 F1.8 (75-150mm on 35mm format) mid-range zoom lens delivers outstanding prime lens-like results. Factoring in the APS-C image circle of 1.5x, the 50-100mm F1.8 covers three popular short tele prime focal lengths: 85mm, 105mm and 135mm. It maintains a constant F1.8 aperture, yielding exceptional brightness and resolution throughout the zoom while simultaneously maintaining focus as the lens is zoomed, ideal for videographers.

About the Sigma 24-35mm F2 DG HSM Art Lens
The 24-35mm F2 DG HSM Art is the world’s first full-frame F2 zoom lens, designed with the versatility of a zoom lens married with incredible performance. With premium FLD glass and seven SLD glass elements, it allows for sharp, beautiful image quality. Its large diameter aspherical lens also provides a stunning level of brightness, even ideal at the widest of apertures. Its quick, accurate autofocusing makes it perfect for capturing movement without blurring.

About the Sigma 20mm F1.4 DG HSM Art Lens
The state-of-the-art 20mm F1.4 DG HSM Art is a wide-angle prime lens designed for use with full-frame cameras with additional APS-C sensor support. It is Sigma’s widest large aperture art lens yet and was designed with careful attention on edge-to-edge performance. It includes both FLD glass and five SLD glasses in a 15-element, 11-group design to minimize spherical aberration, axial chromatic aberration and field curvature for incredible image quality. Tested using the proprietary “A1” measuring system, it is ensured with the highest standard of operation for professionals. This lens is perfect for videography, astrophotography, landscape, low-light/indoor and event photography.

About Sigma Corporation
Since 1961, Sigma has worked toward a single, simple goal: To imagine and develop photographic technologies that push the envelope, empower photographers and produce unparalleled imagery. We’ve honored this commitment by maintaining control of our design, research and development, and manufacturing processes in our own Aizu Factory. Our products are built with premium materials and are known worldwide for quality and performance. Our family-owned organization is the largest, independent SLR lens manufacturer in the world, producing more than 45 lenses that are compatible with most manufacturers, including Sigma, Canon, Sony, Nikon, Olympus, Panasonic and Pentax. Sigma Corporation also produces digital SLR cameras and high-definition digital compact cameras. The company is headquartered in Japan, with offices strategically located throughout Europe, Asia and North America. Photography is all we do, and it’s all we’ve ever done.

For information about Sigma, please visit www.sigmaphoto.com or follow the company onTwitter, Instagram and Facebook.

3Pod Orbit 4-Section Aluminum Photo/Video Monopod with Fluid Base and Tilt Head with Quick Release (Review)

April 19, 2016 Comments off

3Pod Monopod with Tilt Head BundleAdorama3Pod Monopod (3PVM4A)
3Pod T1 Tilt Head with Quick Release (3PSHT1)
3Pod Monopod with Tilt Head Bundle
Adorama
$59.95 Monopod only
$32.00 Tilt Head with Quick Release
$79.95 with Tilt Head with Quick Release Bundle ($12.00 savings)

If you’ve searched high low for a monopod that you can use in just about any situation, stop looking, this is it. The 3PVM4A Monopod by 3Pod, sold by Adorama is one fine piece of photographic machinery. And for under, a lot under, $100, it’s the best I’ve seen. At a whopping 65.5 inches high (max), it’s comfortable for taller photographers to use, without having to crouch or bend down. I should know; I’m one of those taller photographers. This one also quickly adjusts from two feet high (23.5 inches, to be exact) to any height in between. The fluid base allows you to make smooth panning movements when the feet are down. Without the feet in the down and locked position, you have a standard monopod featuring three fast open/close flip locks for quick and easy height adjustments.


Joseph Butler and I review the 3Pod Monopod with Tilt Head.

3Pod Monopod BaseThe best feature of all. Wait for it. Look at the picture and see if you can figure it out. That’s right! It can stand on its own. At the very bottom of the monopod, you can fold down three locking legs to steady the monopod while you walk away to get yourself on camera, have an interview, or just to check focus. Sure, you can use it like a standard monopod, but those three little legs make this the bringer of the best of both worlds. Frankly, since receiving this, I haven’t used a traditional tripod again. Which in part is some of my excuse for the delay in posting this review.

I suggest purchasing the bundle. You save $12.00 by buying the Tilt Head with Quick Release, so why not make a frugal choice? For $79.95, you get the Monopod, the 3PSHT1, bag, and adjusting wrench. Even if you decide to buy another monopod head, this one will serve you well.

If you’re worried about camera weight on the monopod, let me put your fears to rest. It has held a Canon 60D with 18-135 zoom lens and a shotgun microphone without any issues.

What I really love about this setup is that it’s built for the run-n-gun photo/videographer who also might need to jump in front of the camera to narrate or to introduce a guest. You can walk away with confidence that you’re not going to end up with a smashed camera in the process. For photographers and videographers on the move, the monopod has a large padded handle that’s easy on your hands, plus it’s non-slip feature keeps your equipment safe while you’re running for the shot. The three quick-release height adjustments allow you to keep moving while you adjust the height of the monopod too. And if you don’t want to run with the monopod feet in the down position, they have “step-on” releases so that you can pick up and run without hesitation.

Tilt Head w/ Quick ReleaseThe Tilt Head with Quick Release is a ‘must have’ item because you can remove your camera from the monopod without disturbing the monopod’s position with just a snap of the silver lever you see at the right of the quick release mount. You can also come back and place your camera on the monopod without twisting, turning, or fussing with a ‘pod screw mount. Just place your camera back onto the monopod and turn the lever to secure the quick release mount and start your scene. It is literally a one-two movement and you’re back in business. Plus the Tilt Head stays gravity-centered for vertical shots.

I love the 3Pod monopod. It is the perfect ‘pod for me. It’s not bulky and cumbersome like a tripod, nor is it awkward and always in hand like a traditional monopod. It’s also not a pain to setup and adjust like most tripods are. To me, it’s the best of both worlds. It is the monopod that I wish I’d invented, but for $80, who needs the headache of prototyping, crowdfunding, begging for supporters, and wasting a bunch of energy when 3Pod has created the perfect ‘pod.

Technical Specifications:

  • Material: Aluminum
  • Max Height: 65.5 inches
  • Collapsed Height: 23.5 inches
  • Weight: 2.2 lb
  • Max load: 18 lb
  • MountingReversible: 3/8 and 1/4-20
  • Leg Lock Type: Flip lock
  • Leg Sections: 4
  • Tilt Head Tripod mount: 3/8
  • Tilt Head Camera mount: Standard ¼-20
  • Tilt Head Movement: 180° tilt on a single axis
  • Tilt Head Weight: 9.4 oz
  • Tilt Head Max Load: 11 lb

Why it’s Frugal: If it isn’t already obvious, the 3Pod monopod-tilt head with quick release is extremely frugal. First, you can buy the pair and save $12.00 (frugal). Second, you don’t have to carry a tripod and a monopod everywhere you go and fumble around with them–you have a monopod that can stand alone (frugal). And third, you don’t have to have another person with you to handle the camera while you go stand in front for an introduction, an interview, or a focus (frugal). It’s the best $80 you’ll ever spend on photography equipment.

As you can see in the video, Joseph and I both love the monopod. We fight over it and it’s hard to pry it from our grubby hands once one of us has it in possession. Seriously, it’s that good. For serious photographers and videographers at any level, this monopod beats any that I’ve ever used or seen. And yes, I’ve used the one that you’ve heard of (Sounds like a character from Lord of the Rings) and this one beats it many times over. The build quality is excellent. The quick release latches are easy to use and quick to adjust. No slips, no tips, and no lost cameras.

Rating: 9.5/10

Recommendation: Buy the bundle, save a small bundle, and enjoy your new favorite and essential accessory.

Polaroid Rechargeable Panorama Pan Head (Review)

March 9, 2016 Comments off

Polaroid Panorama Pan HeadPolaroid Panorama Pan Head
Polaroid
$49.99 Amazon (Prime)

The Polaroid Panorama Pan Head (Pan Head) is a tripod-mountable, remote control panoramic head attachment. It features still shots, 360-degree continuous motion panoramas, a 75-degree sweep mode, and a 10 second delayed 5-degree slow movement option.

In the box:

  • Panorama Pan Head Ball/Tripod
  • Remote Control Unit
  • GoPro Tripod Attachment
  • Phone attachment
  • UBS to microUSB cable
  • Instruction booklet
  • Carrying bag

The head unit is a fully rechargeable, stand-alone unit, meaning that it requires no wires or other attachments to make it work. It requires a few hours of recharge time, but once charged, the charge lasts up to three hours or more depending on conditions and usage.

The whole unit is coated with a non-skid coating that also won’t mar furniture or other delicate surfaces.

The bottom of the Pan Head has a female 1/4″-20 standard tripod mount and the top, where the panorama takes place, has a male 1/4″-20 tripod mount. The phone attachment has a padded inner surface so that you won’t scratch your screen or the rear surface, but be careful to only snug the phone in place. If you over-tighten, you can crack your screen.

My box didn’t ship with the GoPro nut that securely attaches the included GoPro tripod mount to the male tripod screw. I had my own, so it wasn’t a problem, but just be aware that it might not ship with one.

Personal Experience

Polaroid Pan Head Phone AttachmentUsing the Pan Head is a lot of fun and using the three attachments (tripod mount, phone mount, and GoPro mount) is easy. I’ve used this unit with my GoPro, my iPhone 5, and my Canon T3. I didn’t try it with my Canon RF H600, but I’m sure that it would work well too. Since the Pan Head can easily hold up to about a pound’s worth of camera, it can easily support old school film cameras, such as my Canon AE-1, Diana, Smena, or any of the other Lomography type cameras that are all the rage.

I used the Bluetooth connection between the Pan Head and the iPhone. It worked perfectly every time. You actually pair the powered-on Pan Head with your camera although it is the remote control unit that fires the camera. I assume it does so through the Pan Head. Since creating the review video, I have tested the unit with starting and stopping videos and it does work. Press the camera button to start video on your phone or remote device and press it again to stop video. Worked every time.

One thing to note: Infrared (IR) is line-of-sight, so be sure that you test your aim at the Pan Head from the Remote Control unit prior to attempting to take real photos or video. The IR receiver on the Pan Head is not the red button–the red button is the power button. The small black window is the IR receiver and you must be able to beam to that for the functions to work. Be patient with your aim and the response from the Pan Head–as it is not instantaneous. There is a short (half-second or less) delay between pressing the button and the reaction from the Pan Head. Don’t press twice, because either you’ll undo what you want to do or you’ll speed up or slow down the panorama head.

Using something like a Gorilla Pod, you can get some cool angles and panoramas. iPhones have a built-in Panorama photo function, but with this Pan Head unit, you’ll get perfect panorama shots every time and you can do them remotely. The same goes for time lapse shots.

Why it’s Frugal: The Polaroid Panorama Pan Head is frugal because for $50, you can have a real remote controlled panorama tripod head attachment that is also a tripod itself. Hardware with comparable functionality costs hundreds of dollars. This unit is affordable, durable, and a good investment for any level of photographer oRemote Control Detailr videographer.

I really like the Polaroid Pan Head. In fact, I love it. I’ve wanted one of these types of units for many years and now there’s an affordable one. Before this, they were just out of my financial range–good ones at least were and still are. The ball shape and flip out “wings” are very innovative and compact. I really love that the ball head is a tripod itself as well as a tripod head.

I think every photographer, phoneographer, and videographer should own one of these. Seriously, to be able to move your camera’s perspective remotely is extremely valuable. And to be able to start/stop video or take photos remotely is just too cool for school. Yes, I know, I just carbon dated myself with that saying, but seriously, this is a big bargain for an extremely practical photographic accessory. I’m glad to see that Polaroid is still innovating and still has its finger on the photographer’s creative pulse. I can’t wait to see what else Polaroid has up its sleeve. Now I’m going to have to dig out my 600 series Polaroid camera, buy some Impossible film, and get to shooting again. Thanks Polaroid, my wife will love you for the inspiring me to purchase instant film after all this time. I knew I saved that camera for some reason.

Rating: 10/10

Recommendation: Every photographer, phoneographer, and videographer should own at least one of these. Strong buy.

Polaroid Brightsaber Pro Handheld/Mountable LED Lighting Wand Now Available

March 1, 2016 Comments off

PolaroidRIDGEFIELD PARK, NJ – March 1, 2016 The Polaroid brightsaber pro LED lighting wand is the easiest and most affordable way to get a perfectly lit shot, whether on set, in the field, or anywhere in between. The highly portable lighting solution can be comfortably handheld or mounted to a tripod for studio setups, and comes with an integrated rotating tungsten filter to give photographers, videographers, event planners, set decorators and more the light they need to create a beautiful look.

Polaroid Brightsaber Key Features
• Includes infrared lamp and camera shutter remote; rechargeable battery pack
• Professional-grade LED lamp driver chip enhances consistency and lighting stability
• Ergonomically designed, the 1.7” diameter multi-purpose grip provides maximum comfort during handheld use, while a built-in threaded tripod mount enables studio setups
• Intelligently integrated, freely rotating, tubular tungsten filter in wrap-around design ensures perfect lighting balance
• Array of 298 powerful, efficient, low-heat 5600k LED bulbs rated at >50,000 Hours

Your Work in a Different Light…and Lots of It
The Polaroid brightsaber’s 298-piece LED bulbs deliver true daylight color 5800K, and have been engineered to be in optimal proximity to the gently frosted light diffuser, resulting in a soft yet powerfully projected and evenly dispersed shine. Photographers can easily set the light to a rapid or slow flash with the press of a button. Offering the pros extra versatility, the Polaroid brightsaber features a tungsten color temperature filter in the form of a 3200k sleeve, giving users the ability to add dramatic lighting effects without the need for additional devices.

Video or Still, Pro or Prosumer, It’s All the Lighting You Need
Getting a well-lit shot is easy with the Polaroid brightsaber, eliminating the need for lighting umbrellas, stands, mounts and sweat-inducing spotlights. At just 22 ounces, the Polaroidbrightsaber is super lightweight, portable and overall refreshingly manageable. Even so, it provides a full range of powerful and sophisticated “studio-level” features professionals will appreciate in the studio and on location.

Infrared Remote
Helping photographers stay focused on set, the Polaroid brightsaber comes with an innovative multi-function IR remote. This handy device gives users full control over the lighting, while doubling as a remote shutter release for virtually any Canon, Nikon or Pentax camera.

Pricing and Availability
The Polaroid brightsaber pro is available now on Amazon for 162.29 USD and ships with a lamp, filter, remote control, battery, AC power adapter, case and manual.

The Polaroid Brand
Polaroid is one of the most trusted, well-respected and recognizable brands with a rich 75-year history beginning with Polaroid instant film. Our range of products include instant and digital still cameras, high-definition and mountable sports video cameras, tablets and flat-screen TVs that deliver the fun, instant gratification and value for which the brand has long stood. Today, thePolaroid Classic Border Logo rooted in our beginnings of instant photo sharing serves to designate genuine Polaroid branded products.  For more information, visit http://www.Polaroid.com.

Polaroid, Polaroid & Pixel, Polaroid Color Spectrum and Polaroid Classic Border Logo are trademarks of PLR IP Holdings, LLC, used under license.

IK Multimedia premiers iKlip A/V – the first smartphone broadcast mount for professional mobile audio and video

January 5, 2016 Comments off

January 5th, 2016 IK Multimedia is pleased to present iKlip® A/V, the first broadcast mount for professional audio and video recording with smartphones. An industry first, it’s a system that gives professional broadcasters and videographers the ability to capture and monitor pro-quality audio on the go via its integrated high-quality XLR mic preamp with phantom power and built-in wireless receiver support. It also delivers a steady picture thanks to its smartphone holder and hand-held grip. Designed for mobile broadcast professionals, iKlip A/V gives everyone the power to use their smartphone as a full-featured camcorder.

iKlip A/V

Exceptional audio
Developed in Italy with input from professional field reporters and broadcasters as a cost effective – and more readily available – alternative for field reporting, iKlip A/V is designed to help videographers capture professional quality audio for their mobile video productions. It features an integrated microphone preamp with phantom power that lets users record with high-quality external microphones via its XLR input. iKlip A/V provides 48V phantom power for high-end condenser mics via two AA batteries. It also features a built-in support that can hold most popular wireless microphone receivers. And its gain control, headphone monitoring output and 1/8″ TRRS audio output ensure a great signal no matter what microphone or device is used. And all of these features are built into iKlip A/V’s ergonomic grip for a streamlined, unmatched recording experience.

Steady and secure
iKlip A/V’s design allows for a steady shooting. It features a large ergonomic handheld grip and an expandable smartphone holding bracket that shares the same technology as IK’s iKlip Xpand Mini. It can securely hold any iPhone, iPod touch or Android device with a screen size from 3.5″ to 6″. iKlip A/V can also be attached to a monopod or tripod thanks to the standard female threads on the underside. Its holder can be detached and replaced with a compact video camera thanks to its standard camera mount. No matter how it’s used, iKlip A/V delivers an effortlessly stable picture quality.

Completely connectible
iKlip A/V works with any smartphone or camera that accepts a 1/8″ TRRS (CTIA/AHJ wiring standard) audio input. This means that it can deliver great broadcast-quality results with any compatible device that can either fit on its grip or fit on iKlip A/V’s standard thread tripod/camera mount.

Similarly, iKlip A/V is compatible with all popular mobile video recording apps. This includes favorites like Apple’s Camera app as well as third party apps that provide more control, like Filmic Pro.

Pricing and availability
iKlip A/V will be available in April 2016 from music and electronics retailers worldwide, and from the IK online store, for only $/€179.99 (excluding taxes).

For more information, please visit www.iklipav.com

3Pod Announces Brand New Photo and Video Tripods, Monopods, Ballheads and Video Heads for the Working Shooter

December 2, 2015 Comments off

3PodNew York, NY – December 2, 2015 3Pod, the award-winning brand of photography and video tripods, has just announced brand new 3Pod tripods, monopods, ballheads and video heads for the working photo and video professional, available for preorder now at Adorama.com. Headlining the collection of new gear is the line of Orbit tripods featuring the Orbit Overhead Shot System, which enable overhead and low angle shots, courtesy of a center column that can be tilted or oriented horizontally if desired. All new 3Pod models are made of lightweight, durable materials for a balance of portability and solid function on the job. Combining the incredible value, most-wanted features, weight, functionality and quality that 3Pod gear is known for, the brand’s latest offerings are perfect for dependable, everyday use.

“The new tripods and heads from 3Pod are absolute necessities for the every day photo or video shooter – these are your bread and butter working tools,” comments Abe Eherenfeld, global sourcing manager at Adorama. “The Orbit Overhead Shot System allows for a variety of shots you just can’t get from a typical tripod. The tripod heads are super functional and meet the needs of portrait and product photographers who don’t want plain ballheads. And the video heads can be mounted to any monopod, tripod or rail. The price points on these products combined with the functionality, usability and quality they offer really can’t be beat.”

Now available exclusively at Adorama, new products from 3Pod include:

Orbit Overhead Shot System Tripods: Designed for photo and video use, the newest collection of tripods from 3Pod include the Orbit 3-Section Tripod and the Orbit 4-Section Tripod, both available in either carbon fiber or aluminum. The Orbit Overhead Shot System tripods feature a center column that can be easily titled or oriented horizontally for overhead or low angle shooting, perfect for product or food photography. These photo and video tripods feature a super lightweight and sturdy design, quick adjustment flip locks, padded grip, 3-leg spread angle settings, retractable foot spikes and a bubble level on the top plate.

MonopodFour-Section Monopod with Fluid Base: This lightweight and sturdy monopod from 3Pod is available in either aluminum or carbon fiber. Perfect for photo and video use, it features four fully adjustable sections for maximum height in a minimum package, a cushioned grip, and flip lock legs for a more stable shooting experience. Its pivoting fluid base with tripod foot allows for balanced and smooth swiveling and panning, great for adding dynamic motion to a shot.

Table Top Tripod with Ballhead: The perfect solution for positioning lightweight cameras, lights and accessories (up to 4 lbs.), the 3Pod Table Top Tripod is ideal for small point and shoot photo and video cameras, action camera users, and lighting technicians. Mount a camcorder, compact camera, GoPro, strobe or small LED light panel with exact control. Available in 14” or 16.5” models with the ability to adjust the height, this table top tripod has heavy duty load bearing legs, and can be collapsed down for convenient storage and transport.

Three-Way Head with Quick Release: The 3-Way Head for tripods offers independent camera control on three different planes, making it ideal for exacting photographers shooting product, landscape, architecture and commercial work.

M1 Mini Ballhead: Designed to add comfortable adjustment to any mount, the M1 Mini Ballheadis a favorite of action camera users and lighting technicians and is perfect for precise positioning of GoPro cameras, strobes or small LED light panels. Offering ballhead freedom with 360-degree rotation, the 3Pod Mini Ballhead is a great option for capturing unique shots.

Pistol Grip Ballhead: The Pistol Grip Ballhead is ideal for professional photographers seeking simple griphead adjustment when shooting portrait, landscape, still life and products. Enabling a precisely composed image, even with a heavy camera and lens combo, the 3Pod Pistol Grip Ballhead allows for easy and secure one-handed adjustments, leaving the other hand free to zoom, focus, balance the camera and make any other necessary adjustments.

T1 Tilthead with Quick Release: With 3Pod’s industry standard quick release system, the T1 Tilthead with quick release allows users to adjust the camera 180 degrees on a single axis, making it perfect when photographing with a monopod to orient for vertical shots or for video tilt to pan up and down.

Video HeadQ3 Fluid Video Head: A dynamic videography head designed for cinematography setups such as cinema camcorders, video rigs, DSLRs and ILCs, the 3Pod Fluid Video Head can support a maximum load of 15 lbs. This head features separate pan and tilt fluid friction controls, a bubble level on the base for perfect pans, a sliding quick release plate (with safety lock) for balancing a rig, an angle adjustable ambidextrous handle for stable control, and a comfortable padded grip. Separate tilt friction and lock controls allow this head to revert to the exact same tilt tension after unlocking.

Q2 Lightweight Fluid Video Head: This videography head is designed for lightweight setups such as camcorders, DSLRs and ILCs. The 3Pod Lightweight Fluid Video Head can support up to 11 pounds and is the perfect choice for cinematographers using monopods or tripods.

All 3Pod ballheads use industry standard quick release systems for interchangeability between support devices, as well as other features demanded by the everyday working photographer.

ADORAMA: More Than a Camera Store
Adorama is more than a camera store – it’s one of the world’s largest photography, video, audio and computer retailers. Serving customers for more than 35 years, Adorama has grown from its flagship NYC store to include the leading online destination for imaging and consumer electronics. Adorama’s vast product offerings encompass home entertainment, mobile computing, and professional video and audio, while its services include an in-house photo lab, AdoramaPix; resources and gear for photographers, filmmakers, production studios, broadcasting and post houses, and recording artists through Adorama Pro; pro equipment rental at Adorama Rental Company; and the award-winning Adorama Learning Center, which offers free creative education in online channels such as the popular Adorama TV.

Adorama is listed as one of the top five electronics retailers by Consumer Reports, “Best of the Web” by Forbes.com, Internet Retailers Top 100, and is the official Electronics Retailer of the NY Giants.

About 3Pod
3Pod offers a complete collection of tripods for photography and video production, including the best values in carbon fiber and aluminum construction support. With specialty tripods for cinematography and travel – including the one-of-a-kind Lay Flat tripod – along with tripod heads and accessories, the unique designs from 3Pod fit every requirement and budget.

With a coveted Award of Superiority from Microfilmmaker in 2015 for the V2AH video tripod, 3Pod tripods are quickly gaining recognition as a high quality but affordable support solution for imagemakers. Available exclusively at Adorama, visit the brand store online to find all 3Pod products: http://www.adorama.com/brands/3pod.

3Pod V3AH Video Tripod (Review)

October 2, 2014 Comments off

3Pod V3AH Video Tripod from Adorama3Pod V3AH Video Tripod
Adorama Camera, Inc.
$99.95 (Free shipping)

In photography, there’s nothing quite like stability. And if you’re using a tripod, you need stability because even the slightest movements during an exposure can have disastrous results. These days that’s not as expensive as it used to be because of our digital cameras and instant picture view, but film aficionados understand what I’m talking about. Often, you couldn’t tell that your trusty tripod had failed you until you developed your film, enlarged the negatives onto print paper, and discovered that indeed there was movement from a breeze, an overzealous shutter snap, or a slight bump as you released the tilt bar. But for the sake of stability, many a photographer lugged a 50-pound tripod around the countryside to grab that perfect image.

Videographers have the same problem. Camera shake makes people dizzy or uneasy when watching a film. You don’t want to purposely induce vertigo in your audience, so you resort to a tripod for stability. Hopefully one you can lift, move, balance, and position many, many times over the course of a long day’s shoot.

The 3Pod V3AH is such a tripod. It has almost every feature of a tripod costing hundreds of dollars. For the videographer on a budget, the guerrilla videographer, the YouTuber, or the professional who needs to travel light, the V3AH might be your perfect choice. At a nickel under $100, it’s really easy on your wallet.

Included in the box:

  • V3AH Video Tripod
  • Fluid Panhead with Sliding Quick-release plate
  • Padded Carrying Case
  • Manual

From the Adorama V3AH page:

The V3AH is the 3Pod video tripod of brute strength and stability with an impressive supported payload of 14.5lbs. The 3-tiered extendable leg system lets the V3AH reach heights of 61″, and features sturdy rubber feet, large, easy to grasp locking knobs, and a torsion resistant aluminum center brace for added strength.

The professional 2-Way fluid metal panhead attaches to the body with a half-bowladaptor mounting system. It is manipulated by a fully adjustable textured handle, and provides a 360 degree range of silent, jitter-free motion with state-of-the-art dampening, counterbalance and drag functions, a built-in bubblelevel, and individual directional locking. An included sliding quick-release plate detaches from the panhead with a safe-spring release pin.

There’s nothing that I can tell you about this tripod that you can’t read for yourself. The real proof of how great it is has to be seen.

The V3AH in action.

Why it’s Frugal: For $100, the V3AH is the best of class tripod that I’ve seen. Its list of features, plus 3Pod’s quality craftsmanship, and its three-year warranty just can’t be beat. Adorama is the photographer’s standard for amateurs to professionals and they’re products are designed with the working photographer in mind.

The V3AH comes in a sturdy, black nylon case with reinforced stitching on stress prone areas, such as the handles and zippers. The case is tough and solid without adding a lot of extra weight to the tripod. Who needs to lug around extra pounds on any shoot? I want my gear protected, but not at the cost of needing to rent a pack mule for the hike.

Rating: 9/10

Recommendation: If you can buy or only want one tripod and don’t want to spend more than $100, this should be it.

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