*Goal Zero, clean, portable, endless power for a digital world.

PanhandleGap

Does that sound like a commercial pitch?  I’m sorry, I’m just trying to be creative with these articles and the idea of writing about batteries, or rechargeable, storable and portable power might not tick too many boxes for those of us looking for a humorous review on the latest, greatest camera gear.

With that said, I can’t even begin to count the times over the past few years that I’ve been frustrated by low shot volume lithium ion, camera batteries.  Don’t get me wrong, it’s amazing technology, and the lifespan on many of these batteries is so far beyond what older batteries were, but with all the power hungry features in todays cameras, combined with the ever growing desire to see these machines not only become more powerful, but smaller and lighter, power is going to be compromised.  Anyone shooting an Olympus EM5/10 or Sony alpha camera can relate, I’m sure.

Enter Goal Zero, a solution for those of us who travel, shoot in the field or enjoy having some of the creature comforts while out in the wild, wild world.  A very cool company producing some very cool products.  C’mon in to read and see more…

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*Holy S#!† The new FW updates for the @Sony a7II and #Metabones EF smart adapter have created a monster.

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Sorry for my dirty, foul mouth. I’m just blown away by how much better my a7II and Canon EF lens setup has become overnight.  Long overdue, the Sony a7II got the much ballyhooed Uncompressed 14 bit RAW update (as opposed to that weird 11/7 compressed stuff, which is still nicely, an option) along with the return of the on sensor Phase Detection AF to the a7, pro-sumer camera with third party lenses.  Why they kept this out to begin with is beyond me, and really one of my gripes with the Sony approach as a whole, but now that it’s here, it is friggin’ amazing.  It is like I have an entirely new camera.  C’mon in for firmware update links, and a video comparison between the auto focus speed and performance from the original firmware on the a7II and Metabones mark IV adapter, and now that they’ve both very recently been updated…

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*The Panasonic GX8 done grow’d up! A first look comparison w/ @LumixUSA

Panasonic Lumix GX7 vs GX8 Comparison

Panasonic has done well to progress the hybrid market bringing industry leading video features to remarkably affordable price points over the years.  The GH line has always pushed into new territory with budget oriented motion shooters compared to all else available on the market.  Along with cutting edge video features, they’ve also done well to provide competent still shooting devices incorporated into these wonderful, little mirrorless cameras.  The GF and GX lines have historically incorporated a more still shooter driven skill set in a smaller, rangefinder style body while adding admirable video features as well.

There’s been no hiding my love for the GX7 over the past few years.  In my mind, it has been the best balance of quality, size, feature and price yet available in the mirrorless landscape, playing to all of the benefits of a smaller format, mirrorless construction and very high end lens availability through the system partnership with Olympus, and third party collaboration and support from companies like Leica, Sigma, Voigtländer and many others.

With the GX8, Panasonic has brought us a newer, more beefed up version with the m4/3 system’s first 20mp sensor, dual IS feature and various 4K video and still modes in a camera that, while a bit bigger, can still fit into a large pocket with the right lens.  A great machine, but is it truly a step forward in all ways?  Having been shooting this camera extensively for the last month and a half, I feel comfortable giving my opinions and comparisons between the GX8 and it’s predecessor.  C’mon in…

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*Brand new, TRP Vector strap available, and giveaway winners!

 

TRP Vector Straps available now

The brand new, hand built Vector straps are now available via the TRP Camera Straps Page HERE for $27 delivered ($33 outside of the US).  They’re light weight, low profile and comfortable wrist straps for any camera.  Utilizing very high end materials, I’ve chosen to build these with both comfort and function in mind.  They’re great when wanting to keep weight and bulk down, comfort up all while maintaining a casual, modern look.

The Vector Straps are now available along with the Garda and Cascade Straps.  Come on in to see who won free straps from our social media giveaway…

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*Social media giveaway! Be one of the first to get a brand new TRP Vector camera strap #trpcamerastraps

vectorlead

The new TRP Vector straps are low profile, lightweight wrist straps made from blended, 24 plait braided line utilizing high end materials like Vectran, Cordura and high tenacity Polyester.  Strength, style, fashion and function.  Used in high performance, professional sailing, this rope is built to last.  I personally, hand build each and every strap, and I’ve been testing these for the last 6 months.  They’re dialed.  The brand new, Vector straps will be released next week, and for a chance to win one, shipping included, I’m going to try something newish (for me and the blog anyway).  

We’ve done a giveaway with each of the other straps, and this time, I wanted to also start up bit of a reward for helping me get the word out, guerrilla marketing style.  Being that I hand build each and every strap myself, I want to do my best to keep costs as low as I can to both make enough money for this whole venture to make sense, but to keep the delivered price as low as possible to make sense for you as well.  The more I can sell, the more I can invest, etc, etc.  Kind of my own kickstarter so to speak, except you don’t have to put money in to get this going, I’ve already done that.

The idea here is getting the word out, and figuring out a way to reward those who help me do that.  Here’s what I’m thinking…

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*Sony 5 axis IBIS vs EF Lens Based IS vs Panasonic 2 axis IBIS Comparison

 

 

ibis vs ois

Stabilization.  A term that, before a handful of years ago meant “tripod,” or physical bracing technique, has grown to provide various hardware solutions within our camera system of choice.  We as consumers have been lucky to have stabilization options within most all digital camera systems, and while image stabilization isn’t going to remedy all problems, it is certainly a nice feature to have.  

I’m awaiting a new Panasonic GX8 to arrive within the next couple weeks which will boast a new, dual IS system incorporating both an on sensor IS and lens based IS solution, but before that time, I wanted to really see how the first full frame, 5 axis on sensor/in body image stabilization (IBIS) system from Sony compares to a very good lens based image stabilization (IS) system in the Canon EF lenses, and a better than often credited 2 axis IBIS system from Panasonic’s first foray into on sensor stabilization, in the GX7.

Come on in to see my three different comparisons between these three different offerings, and see if there is a clear winner.

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*The Mighty Might, Panasonic GM1 on super sale

iPhone 5s vs Panasonic Lumix GM1

Adorama has the Panasonic, micro 4/3 GM1 camera with 12-32mm pancake zoom for $598 which comes with a $200 Adorama Gift Card, dropping the price for the camera and lens to an effective $398!  The lens itself retails for $348, and while that may be a little steep for the lens itself, it is a true 24mm e-fov wide angle lens that is sharper than many of the comparable prime lenses for the system at like aperture, across this zoom lens’ range.  While the asking price for the lens itself might be debatable, the quality and sheer minuscule footprint cannot be.  Sure that $200 gift card is only valid at Adorama, but if you’re like me, you’ll find a way to eventually spend two hundred bucks on something there.

That’s a pretty sweet deal for this little powerhouse of a camera and lens that I feel is the best kit lens I’ve used for the system.  

You can see the deal, currently running at Adorama via my affiliate links below:

GM1 (Blue) with 12-32mm f/3.5-5.6 Lens (Silver) + $200 Adorama Gift Card HERE 

GM1 (Orange) with 12-32mm f/3.5-5.6 Lens (Silver) + $200 Adorama Gift Card HERE

If you’d like, you can read my thoughts on the GM1 HERE and the 12-32mm Kit Lens HERE.

I bought my GM1 as soon as it was available, and it has been with me every day since, literally.  With the right lenses, this camera is pocketable and is small enough to go anywhere.  It has the same sensor as the GX7, which is rumored to also be included in the soon to be announced G7, which is a great performing sensor, especially for RAW file capture, and in my test/review, out performed the Sony sensor in the Olympus OMD EM5 in most every way.  The GM5 is essentially the same exact camera with a hot shoe and an EVF.  Both great additions, but for this price, I think it would be hard to find a better overall value of size, performance and build quality offered with the GM1.  It’s a great little machine, and by little, I mean tiny.

You can stay posted on reviews, tutorials and deals by finding me on Facebook, Twitter, Flickr or Instagram or if you prefer to receive email alerts when articles are posted, feel free to add your email address at the top right of the page here.  

Happy shooting.

Tyson