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Deal: Magazine Subscriptions for $5 at Amazon

Amazon offers several magazine subscriptions for $5 each. The most notable is American Photo. Note that each subscription will auto-renew if not canceled. Sale ends December 3.

About Automatic Renewal Subscriptions

  • You will not receive publisher expiration notices and offers via mail.
  • We will send you an email reminder a few weeks before your expiration date including the current low price on and the date on which your subscription is scheduled to be renewed.
  • You can cancel at any time and receive a refund for unshipped issues. If you prefer to let your subscription expire at the end of the current term, you can visit Subscription Manager to update your preferences.
  • Regardless of whether you are a new or existing subscriber, all customers receive the the same low price on renewals.
  • Automatic renewal also makes annual gift giving easier. Learn more about how to give a gift subscription.

Press Release: Nikon Announces SB-910 High-End Speedlight

New Nikon SB-910 Speedlight Offers Advanced Flash Technology and Intelligent Features

MELVILLE, N.Y. (November 29, 2011) – Today, Nikon Inc. announced the addition of a new flagship speedlight, the powerful and capable SB-910 speedlight. Building on the versatility of Nikon’s Creative Lighting System (CLS), the SB-910 incorporates an enhanced intuitive operating system and graphic user interface (GUI). The SB-910 speedlight comes equipped with a wide zoom range covering the most popular focal lengths as well as FX/DX-format identification that optimizes zoom settings based on the camera body. This new speedlight also provides more efficient battery usage as well as an enhanced Thermal Cut-Out function.

“As Nikon’s new flagship speedlight, the SB-910 provides exceptional high performance and versatility that users have come to value in Nikon’s Creative Lighting System,” said Lisa Osorio, general manager of marketing at Nikon Inc. “By addressing the needs of photographers that work in challenging lighting scenarios, the SB-910 delivers a new level of portable lighting functionality, with performance and intelligent features that adapt to a wide range of lighting challenges.”

The SB-910 speedlight is designed to provide easy operation and menu navigation, with its enhanced operating system featuring illuminated function buttons, a dedicated Menu button with quick access to custom settings and an improved LCD screen graphic user interface. Whether the unit is used as an on-camera flash, wireless commander or remote, the SB-910 speedlight will provide dependable and consistent flash exposure. Engineered to address the creative lighting challenges faced by today’s photographers, the SB-910 speedlight includes quick on-demand performance and the ability to adapt seamlessly to nearly any possible lighting scenario.

Additionally, the new SB-910 incorporates a new Thermal Cut-Out function, which offers protection against damage to the flash panel and body from overheating during continuous flash use. Now, the flash recycling time is automatically delayed if a significant rise in temperature is detected, rather than ceasing operation to protect the unit. For additional durability, heat-resistance and ease-of-use, the SB-910 uses new hard-type color compensation filters for fluorescent and incandescent color temperature balancing. When using these filters, the flash automatically recognizes which filter is being used and adjusts white balance accordingly on the connected Nikon D-SLR camera. Additionally, the AF-assist illuminator of the SB-910 is compatible with the complete line of AF systems used in Nikon D-SLR cameras.

The SB-910 speedlight features three illumination patterns (standard, center-weighted and even) which are designed to match almost any shooting situation when utilizing the speedlight. The “standard” pattern will cover all conventional, standard flash coverage. The “center-weighted” pattern provides larger guide numbers than other light distribution types at the same focal lengths. This illumination pattern is ideal for subjects such as portraits, in which the light falloff at the image edges can be disregarded. When “even” is selected, the light from the flash will cover a subject from the center to the edges without light falloff. This pattern is applicable for shooting group photographs indoors. For coverage with a variety of lenses, the SB-910 speedlight incorporates a multi-step power zoom range that covers a wide 17-200mm angle of view, and can automatically detect Nikon FX and Nikon DX formats to help select suitable light distribution.

The SB-910 speedlight includes support for Nikon’s advanced wireless TTL operation and can function as a wireless commander with control over three separate groups of speedlights or as a remote speedlight triggered by other SB-910 speedlights, SB-700 speedlights, SU-800 Wireless Commander or the built-in speedlight set to Commander Mode on compatible Nikon D-SLR cameras. The SB-910 incorporates a high-speed recycling time of approximately 2.5 seconds for full power with NiMH batteries, and approximately 3.0 seconds with AA Alkaline batteries.

Optional water guards will be available for select cameras to protect the connection between the flash and camera, allowing users to utilize the flash when weather conditions are less than ideal. The SJ-4 Color Filter set provides a Warming, Red, Yellow or Blue filter for adding color to the background, foreground or just to accent the scene. The SB-910 will come equipped with the AS-21 Speedlight Stand, SW-13H Diffusion Dome, SZ-2FL and SZ-2TN hard type Color Compensation Filters and SS-910 soft case.

Price and Availability
Nikon’s new flagship speedlight, the SB-910, will be available in mid-December 2011 for a MSRP of $549.95. You'll be able to pick this up from Amazon, B&H Photo and Adorama.

Deal: Think Tank Photo Holiday Promotions

Receive a FREE GIFT from Think Tank Photo

Buy any Think Tank Photo Retrospective shoulder bag and get money back!
Between now and the end of December, whenever you order any of Think Tank Photo’s Retrospective shoulder bags, you will receive up to $20 back. The Retrospective bags are inconspicuous, soft-sided shoulder bags with a simple exterior that blends into the environment. They range in size from the Retrospective 5—which carries one standard size DSLR with one to three lenses or a complete Micro Four Thirds or rangefinder camera system—to the Retrospective 30, which holds two pro size DSLRs plus three to six lenses. Click on the “Support” tab on each Retrospective product page to download your rebate form. And don’t forget, in addition to receiving the rebate check from Think Tank, you also get to select gear to receive for free with your order when you order using my special code!

You can read our full review on the Think Tank Photo Retrospective 10.

Enter to win “A Gob of Free Gear”!
With the help of several photo equipment vendors, as part of its In A Bag random drawing, every day from today through December 20th Think Tank Photo will be dropping one or more free items into one of its huge Airport Security rollers. Over 40 photo equipment items and other fun stuff will overflow the roller. On December 21st, one lucky person will win everything. You can enter once a day to win.

More information can be found HERE.

Wondering what to give this holiday to your photographer friends? Or (hint-hint), wondering what to tell others to give you this holiday? Think Tank Gift Certificates are now available.

Deal: Cyber Monday 2-packs for $6

DiscountMags offers a selection of 1-year magazine subscription 2-packs for $6 via coupon code "CYBERMONDAY". You can buy up to 3-year subscriptions at these per-year prices. There are magazines for Food & Cooking pack, Women's Fashion pack, Automobile pack, Business pack, Fitness pack and many more. The most notable is:

About Popular Photography:
Famed for its comprehensive coverage of the latest equipment, inspiring images by leading photographers, in-depth how-to articles and authoritative test reports, Popular Photography and Imaging draws upon top professionals in the field to inform committed readers who are passionate about pictures.

About American Photo:
This magazine is for men and women interested in creative photography. It profiles the personalities behind the lens and their contributions to art, history, fashion, journalism, and advertising. American Photo often features reviews of exhibitions and books, readers' photos and requests and picture portfolios and stories on working professionals.

Deal: Adobe Lightroom 3 for $90 with free shipping

Amazon has Adobe Lightroom 3 for $90!! This is the best deal we've seen so far. This works on Windows Vista / 7 / XP and Mac OS X.
  • Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 3 software helps you bring out the best in your photography.
  • Bring out the best in your photography, whether you're perfecting one image, searching for ten, processing hundreds, or organizing thousands.
  • Breeze through your digital photography tasks quickly and efficiently.
  • So, you can spend more time shooting--your core photography essentials are included in one fast, intuitive application.
  • Share your vision with elegant options for showcasing your images in customized print packages.
  • Dynamic slide show videos with music, web galleries, and on popular photo-sharing sites.
  • Experiment fearlessly with state-of-the-art nondestructive editing tools, including world-class noise reduction.
  • Get the absolute best from every image you shoot with world-class editing power and intuitive controls that set your creativity free.

*UPDATE* 11/25/2011
Price is now $99.99. Still $50 less than what we've been seeing.

    Contest: Enter to Win ONE Hufa Holder Original Lens Cap Clip


    It's Thanksgiving today, Christmas is just around the corner and what is a better way than to thank our readers with a CONTEST! Up for grab is a Hufa Holder. There are 3 ways to enter...
    1. to our YouTube page
    2. our Facebook page
    3. our Twitter page (@1KINDPhoto) and tweet the following message: Win a Hufa Holder Original Lens Cap Clip from @1kindphoto #1kindphotography
    You can enter to one or all three sites! The more you enter, the better your chances of winning. Limit one entry per site. This is eligible to all users around the world! Contest ends December 10, 2011 at 11:59pm EST. Winners will be chosen 1 day after contest ends and winners will be contacted via respective sites. Winners must provide mailing address. Failure to respond will forfeit your prize.

    Sponsor: We would like to thank, Hufa (@hufaholder), for sponsoring and supplying Hufa Holder for the contest. You can read our full review on the Hufa at Review: Hufa Holder The Original Lens Cap Clip.

    *Contest rules and contest end date may change without notice. Any questions about the Hufa Holder, contact the manufacturer at

    Deal: Canon 3-Day DSLR, Lens and Flash Instant Rebate Promo!

    Canon's Thanksgiving and Christmas spirit is in full-blast giving mode! Check out this masssive 3-day Canon DSLR, Lens and Flash Instant Rebate Promo!

    Buy a Canon EOS 60D, 7D or 5D Mark II and the lens or flash rebate is DOUBLED!

    B&H Photo has a special page that makes purchasing easier with all the deals on one page.

    $400 Rebate on Printer with Select Canon EOS DSLR Purchase
    In addition to the above deals, buy a Canon PIXMA PRO9000 Mark II Printer at the same time as a select Canon EOS DSLR and receive a $400.00 rebate.

    Review: Rode PG1 Pistol Grip Shock Mount for Shoe Mounted Microphones

    Review: Rode PG1 Pistol Grip Shock Mount for Shoe Mounted Microphones

    Overview : The PG1 Cold Shoe Pistol Grip is a convenient and ergonomic way to operate your RØDE VideoMic, Stereo VideoMic, or any other cold-shoe device independently of your video camera.

    A convenient 3/8" thread on the base allows connection to a boompole or microphone stand, while the spine features handy cable management.

    Features :
    • Compatible microphones: VideoMic, Stereo VideoMic
    • An excellent accessory for audio video applications
    • For using Rode VideoMics independent of the camera
    • Cold shoe mount provides a secure connection between the mic and grip
    • 3/8-inch thread on for connection to a boompole or mic stand
    • Spine design offers handy cable management

    Quality/Usability : Read our full review on the Rode VideoMic Shotgun Directional Video Condenser Microphone.

    Not only is visual important but audio is an important as well. But what if you already own a microphone and you have to do an interview in an area that is noisy and in a cramped space but you're tight on funds and can't afford to purchase another microphone? Rode has a grip for shoe mounted microphones known as the PG1 Pistol Grip.

    Review: Rode PG1 Pistol Grip Shock Mount for Shoe Mounted Microphones

    By holding the microphone, you're able to get the audio without the camera or recorder in your subjects face. The PG1 Pistol Grip is basically a grip that allows you to mount your shoe mounted microphone and be able to hold it without disturbing the audio recording.

    Review: Rode PG1 Pistol Grip Shock Mount for Shoe Mounted Microphones

    The PG1 is made of durable plastic. The back of the grip where your palm would be has a groove for cable management. This allows you to insert any loose wires without them swinging around loosely. The bottom of the grip also allows you to mount the grip onto a microphone stand or a boompole such as the Rode Micro Boompole.

    Review: Rode PG1 Pistol Grip Shock Mount for Shoe Mounted Microphones Review: Rode PG1 Pistol Grip Shock Mount for Shoe Mounted Microphones

    Conclusion : Overall, the Rode PG1 Pistol Grip Shock Mount for Shoe Mounted Microphones is very comfortable to hold in the hand. However for $30, I feel its a bit pricey for a piece of plastic. $20 would be more in the price range this grip should be. The cable management on the grip is a nice feature. No one wants the audio of a cable rubbing against the microphone.

    Manufacturer: Rode Microphones
    Site: Buy from Amazon / Buy from B&H Photo / Buy from Adorama

    Review: Square Credit Card Reader App and Service

    Review: Square Credit Card Reader App and Service

    Overview : Square puts people in business.

    Accept credit cards and cash on your Android device with the free Square Card Reader. It's only 2.75% per swipe for Visa, American Express, MasterCard and Discover. No contracts, monthly fees or merchant accounts. Funds are deposited into your bank account the next day. Square makes it easy for anyone to accept payments, anywhere.

    Features :
    • Fast setup: sign up for your free Square Card Reader and start swiping in minutes.
    • Built-in analytics: track sales, collect tips and tax, and send electronic receipts via email or text message.
    • Safe and secure: Square meets all industry-standard security practices to protect your customers and your business.

    Quality/Usability : As more and more people become small business owners or entrepreneurs, accepting credit cards is crucial when dealing with customers. People rarely write checks anymore as it requires 5-7 business days for it to clear, money orders cost money just for a piece of paper and no one will carry hundreds or thousands of dollars in their pocket. What's the easiest form of payment? Credit Card.

    Square Credit Card reader is free. You can go to and sign up for a free account and a Square reader will be delivered in 2-5 business days. You'll need to enter your bank account info online so Square can deposit your funds but you can enter the info when you're ready to transfer funds (funds are deposited every evening). If you can't wait for it to be delivered, you can also pick up the Square at your local Apple, Walmart or Best Buy store but it will cost you $9.99 up front. When you sign up at Square's website, they'll refund you the $10, making it free. If you decide to have it delivered, the Square comes in a nice envelope and inside the envelop is a tri-fold white box. Inside the white box, you'll find some instructions on the left, a foam padding holding the Square reader in the middle and a Square sticker on the right so that you can display on your tablet or window.

    Review: Square Credit Card Reader App and Service Review: Square Credit Card Reader App and Service Review: Square Credit Card Reader App and Service

    The reader is a tiny, 0.75-by-0.75-by-0.5-inch white, plastic square and is compatible with devices that have a 3.5mm headphone jack. Square works on Apple iOS devices running 4.0 and up, as well as Google Android devices running 2.1 and up. Unfortunately, it does not support Blackberry devices. The system works over Wi-Fi or a cellphone data connection. As you can see from the pictures, the reader fits perfectly fine on devices with a case (Verizon HTC Thunderbolt with Seidio Active Extended pictured).

    Review: Square Credit Card Reader App and Service Review: Square Credit Card Reader App and Service
    Review: Square Credit Card Reader App and Service Review: Square Credit Card Reader App and Service
    Review: Square Credit Card Reader App and Service Review: Square Credit Card Reader App and Service

    While you're waiting for the reader to arrive, you can go to the iTunes App Store or Android Market and download the free app. Once you have downloaded the app and the reader has arrived, you're ready to receive credit card payments. It's that simple! Square accepts all major credit cards including Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express. Square will even accept debit cards in the same way you run a credit card. What I didn't like was that when you're swiping, sometimes it took more than 1 swipe before the card was able to be read. The reader does have a potential of turning when you swipe the card.

    Review: Square Credit Card Reader App and Service

    To get started, simply run the app by tapping the Square icon. The first screen you'll see is the main payment screen where you would enter the amount and include a description and/or picture of the item. You can either attach a picture of the item you're selling from your Photo Gallery or take a picture on the spot. Once the information is entered, all you have to do is run the credit cards magnetic strip through the reader and it will begin the process of authorizing. Or you can swipe the card before entering the information. The app will display the last 4-digits of the credit card.

    If you haven't received your reader yet and want to charge a customers credit card, you can enter the number manually. Simply enter the amount and the tap the [$] icon at the top right. This will take you to a new window that will allow you to charge to your customers card ($1 minimum) by entering the credit card number, CVV, customers billing address and zip code. Once you enter the information, hit "Authorize Card" and it will charge your customer. Square will allow you to also record a transaction as cash.

    Review: Square Credit Card Reader App and Service

    Once the charge has been processed and authorized, you will have your customer sign their name with their finger. If they mess up on the signature, simply shake it and it will clear the signature. In the settings, you can also skip having the customer provide their signature on charges under $25. Press "Continue" and it will ask you if you want to send a receipt to your customer either through SMS text message or email. You'll need the customers phone number or email address depending on the method they prefer to receive. If they don't want a receipt, they can elect to skip this.

    Fees are straightforward. There are no hidden or monthly fees. Square charges a 2.75% fee for each swiped transaction that you do. What you see is what you pay. However, any keyed-in transaction where you have to enter the credit card number manually, you're charged higher, 3.5% + $0.15 for each manual entry.

    Review: Square Credit Card Reader App and Service Review: Square Credit Card Reader App and Service

    Logging onto the Square website gives you instant access to your account. You can see all of your detailed transactions history, track your daily deposits, even perform a refund if needed. You can update your personal information at any time such as your address, email, profile picture, password and bank account information. You can even update the name on your account to reflect your business or order a new card reader.

    Review: Square Credit Card Reader App and Service

    Now most importantly, I'm sure some people are afraid of swiping their credit cards on a strangers phone. Through out the process, your credit card number is not visible or displayed to the seller (except for when you had it to them to swipe or you can swipe it yourself). The only numbers they'll see on the phone and on their Square account are the last 4 digits of your card. Your information is hidden and secure. No need to worry about credit card theft. Procedure and security is the same as if you were to go to a store and swipe your credit card on their machine...but portable.

    Conclusion : Overall, the Square Credit Card Reader App and Service is very convenient. This is great for those who sell on Craigslist, at flea markets/garage sales or run a business such as photography, freelance work or doing repairs. Plugging in a regular 3.5mm headset and opening the Square app, the app will think the Square reader was plugged in even though it was just a regular headset.

    Review: Square Credit Card Reader App and Service Review: Square Credit Card Reader App and Service
    Review: Square Credit Card Reader App and Service Review: Square Credit Card Reader App and Service

    The Square reader is small and portable but it would be nice if they included a case or incorporated a way to carry it with you such as on a keychain or lanyard. I found my own way of making case. I had a battery holder ($0.47 plus shipping) that held 2-AA battery. It was the perfect size in width and height to hold the Square reader but the length was too long and it wobbled. So I cut out a 1x1 inch square from the foam that came with the Square packaging. I than cut a slit down the middle half way down the foam similar to that on the foam when the Square first arrived. This gave it a nice snug fit.

    If you use PayPal for eBay or receive payments from sales on forums, the fee pricing is on par to what they take for receiving payments. Despite the fees, I like that I can transfer money from a credit card gift card that I received as a gift whether it be Visa, Mastercard or American Express and transfer to my bank account. I like to do this because I get cashback or points when I use my banks credit card. With these credit card gift cards, I do not.

    Manufacturer: Square, Inc.
    Site: Sign up Free at Square / Purchase from Apple, Best Buy or Walmart*
    Price: FREE / *$9.99 at retail stores like Apple, Best Buy and Walmart but the price is refunded when you sign up at their website

    Fees: 2.75% per swiped transaction / 3.5% + $0.15 per keyed-in transaction

    Deal: Popular Photography Magazine 1-Year Subscription for $5

    DiscountMags offers a Popular Photography Magazine 1-Year Subscription (12 issues) for $13.97. Coupon code "4218" cuts it to $5. For US only.

    Of note, you can purchase up to three years at this per-year price.

    Deal: Thanksgiving Special from BorrowLenses! Take 15% Off Any Holiday Rental!

    Here's what you need to do to take advantage of this awesome deal!
    1. Go to our website and choose your gear.
    2. Select a time period and insurance (optional), and go to the checkout page.
    3. Enter the code "Turkeytime" into the coupon box at the bottom to apply the discount.
    4. Checkout and enjoy your gear!
    5. Your order MUST ship or be picked up by 11/23/2011!!
    ** Offer is only valid for orders that SHIP or are picked up by 11/23/2011.

    Deal: FREE Gear With Every Purchase You Make With Think Tank Photo

    This Friday, November 25th (known as Black Friday), is the busiest day for shopping in the United States. Think Tank Photo is offering up 11 camera pouches and memory card holders worth almost $300 that you can have added for free to your purchases. Every time you place an order with Think Tank, when you check out you will be asked which one of the items listed below you wish you receive for free. There is no limit on the number of orders you can place. You receive free gear with every order.

    Cable Management 10 ($16.75)
    R U Thirsty ($19.96)
    LARGE Lens Drop In ($31.96)
    Whip It Out ($35.96)
    Skin 50 ($22.36)
    Skin 75 Pop Down ($28.80)
    Skin Double Wide ($35.96)
    Skin Strobe ($28.80)
    Skin Chimp Cage ($31.96)
    Pixel Pocket Rocket ($18.75)
    Security Tag ($25.00)

    To get this “free gear with every order” offer, click on this link:

    Deal: Panasonic DMC-GF2 12MP Mirrorless Camera, lens for $299 + free shipping

    Amazon offers the Panasonic LUMIX DMC-GF2 12.1-Megapixel Micro Four Thirds Mirrorless Digital Camera bundled with a Panasonic LUMIX 14-42mm Lens in Black, model no. DMC-GF2K, for $299 with free shipping. This "compact system" camera features interchangeable lenses, compatibility with 3D lenses, 3" touchscreen LCD, 1920x1080/60i HD video recording, SDXC card slot, USB 2.0 connectivity, and more.

    Note that it's currently on backorder and will ship on November 24.

    Review: Rode Micro Boompole - 3-Section Boom Pole

    Review: Rode Micro Boompole - 3-Section Boom Pole

    Overview : The RØDE Micro Boompole provides ultimate boom pole performance in a convenient and portable size.

    Intuitive twist locks allow the Micro Boompole's three sections to smoothly extend to 2063mm (6¾'), while the ergonomic grip provides comfort during use.

    Features :
    • Compatible Microphones: NTG-1, NTG-2, NTG-3, NT4, NT5, NT55, M3, VideoMic, Stereo VideoMic, VideoMic Pro
    • Three section boom pole
    • Precision balanced anodized aluminum construction
    • Intuitive lock/release system
    • Ergonomic grip handle
    • Weight: 366.66gm
    • Dimensions: 844.00mm (H) x 33.00mm (W) x 33.00mm (D)

    Quality/Usability : Read our full review on the Rode VideoMic Shotgun Directional Video Condenser Microphone.

    Getting good audio is very important when doing interviews. Not only do you want your subject to be clear but you also want them to be loud enough to be heard. At the same time, you don't want to be in the shot or be a distraction.

    The Rode Micro Boompole is a three section boom pole. It is compatible with the following microphones: NTG-1, NTG-2, NTG-3, NT4, NT5, NT55, M3, VideoMic, Stereo VideoMic and VideoMic Pro. It is made of anodized aluminum for its lightweight portability. The bottom half of the boom pole is covered in foam padding for easier handling and comfort.

    You will need an audio extension cord so that it reaches the microphone to your camera. It would be nice to include a clip or a groove that allowed you to tuck the loose wire so that it won't hang or dangle.

    There are two other sections of the boom pole that extend out. When extending, there are no locks or clips to keep them in place. Simply twists the pole and pull to your desired length. Once you set your length, twist the pole and it will lock in place. When the boom pole is extended to its fullest extent, it can extend as far as 6' feet long.

    Conclusion : Overall, the Rode Micro Boompole - 3-Section Boom Pole is necessary for interviews, music or videos. If you're shooting a video of your family, you won't need this as this will be too long. The stick is durable and very lightweight. Holding the boompole won't tire you out. Extending as far out as 6' feet is plenty of distance. But at the MSRP of $50, it's a bit pricey for just a pole.

    Manufacturer: Rode Microphones
    Site: Buy from Amazon / Buy from B&H Photo / Buy from Adorama

    Deal: B&H Photo - Popular Items and Rebates

    We received a list of promotions that B&H Photo is currently having.

    Popular Items:
    Photoshop Lightroom 3 Software for Mac & Windows for $149.00 with FREE shipping
    Zoom Wide Angle-Telephoto EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM Autofocus Lens - $1,079.00
    Zoom Wide Angle-Telephoto EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM Autofocus Lens - $1,299.00 with FREE Shipping
    Speedlite 580EX II - $449.00
    EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM Telephoto Zoom Lens - $2,349.00
    EF 8-15mm f/4L Fisheye USM Fisheye Ultra-Wide Zoom Lens - $1,449.00 with FREE Shipping
    EF 85mm f/1.2L II USM Autofocus Lens - $2,049.00
    EOS 5D Mark II Digital Camera (Body Only) - $2,369.00 with FREE Shipping
    EOS 7D SLR Digital Camera (Body Only) - $1,499.95 with FREE Shipping
    AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR II Lens - $2,396.95
    AF18-270mm f/3.5-6.3 Di-II VC LD Asph. (IF) Macro Lens - $399.95 with FREE Shipping

    Savings and Rebates:
    Canon DSLR & Lens Rebates
    Nikon DSLR Buy Together & Save
    Sony DSLR Alpha & Lens Rebates - Expires 11/29/2011
    Olympus Pen Rebates Save up to $50 - Expires 11/28/2011
    Lexar Packs of Two
    Tamron Lens Rebates - Expires 12/31/2011
    Canon Lens & Speedlite rebates - Expires 11/23/2011
    Pocket Wizard Radio Triggers Instant Rebate - Expires 11/30/2011
    Lensbaby $50 Rebate - Expires 12/31/2011
    Save on Sandisk Memory

    *Not responsible for typographical errors. Prices and promotions are subject to change. Products subject to availability. When free shipping is offered, this is limited to shipping addresses in the USA.

    Taking the next step forward...

    Can you tell what it is? Notice it? Give up? We just purchased a domain name! No more It's now! Don't worry though, all old links for reviews and deals will still work and will direct users to the new domain name.

    Hopefully this will help the site bring additional traffic, exposure and show that we're serious. Hopefully, we can bring you more news, deals, tutorials and reviews.

    Deal: Adobe Lightroom 3 for 50% off - $150 with free shipping at Adorama & B&H Photo

    Missed out on the 50% off Lightroom 3 deal that Amazon offered almost a week ago? Well don't worry, you have a second chance because Adorama and B&H Photo is now offering Lightroom 3 at half off as well.

    Deal: Joby Early Bird Sale - 20% Off Plus Free Shipping

    Joby has an Early Bird Sale on their website. Save 20% on all GorillaPod, GorillaMobile, and GorillaTorch products*. Enter coupon code: EARLYBIRD20 at checkout. Offer expires November 21 at midnight PST!

    * Coupon offer applies to all GorillaPod, GorillaMobile, and GorillaTorch products. Free Shipping applies to non-accessory orders through domestic ground shipping only.

    Don't forget, if you're purchasing from Joby, make sure to use Mr. Rebates Cashback and get 5% cashback!

    Deal: Nikon DSLR and Lens Combo Instant Savings at B&H Photo

    Back in October, Canon announced their "Fall Lens and Speedlites Instant Rebate" and now, Nikon has responded with their own rebates at B&H Photo. Offer ends 11/19/11.

    Deal: Benro Tripod with Ball Head for $55 + free shipping

    Adorama offers the Benro Tripod with Ball Head, model no. A-150EXU, for $54.90 with free shipping. Features include a maximum height of 63", aluminum flip-lock legs, 4-lb. weight limit, and more.

    Luma Labs — An open letter to our customers, past and future

    Although I have not reviewed or tried Luma products, it's sad to see the fate of a product be killed off by a patent. It seems a competitor applied for a camera sling patent in 2007 and the United States Patent and Trademark Office has approved of it on November 1, 2011. Now that this competitor has the rights to this concept, they can go after companies that sell products that have the same concept. No one knows what the patent holder will do with this newly acquired patent. For all we know, they could be using it to product their time and investment.

    Since Luma Labs is a small company, they have decided to immediately stop sales of their Loop and LoopIt to avoid any future legal issues. They just felt that the amount of money to defend themselves from any legal actions would be too costly to the business. However, that doesn't mean Luma Labs is closing shop. They mentioned that they have been working on a new camera strap concept for the past 6 months. It will be available in December and will be their primary product.

    Own a Loop or LoopIt? Don't worry. Luma Labs will continue to support current customers with any problems they may have. I'm glad to see that Luma Labs isn't closing its doors. Their products looks great and I can't wait to see what new products they have up their sleeve.

    Below is what they have posted on their site at Luma Labs:
    You’ve no doubt heard about patent battles in the world of software. Companies such as Nokia, Apple, and Microsoft use their incredibly large patent portfolios against each other in a multitude of ways. Often defensively, sometimes offensively. While there are many patents for truly inventive things, there are also a great number that are for things that already exist. Patents are a good idea that have been appropriated over the decades as a corporate tool for establishing limits to competition, no matter if the ideas described by those patents are truly inventive. Furthermore, this kind of use of patents isn’t just limited to the world of computing.

    We’ve been aware for quite some time that one of our competitors applied for a patent relating to camera slings in 2007. Their patent application contained dozens of claims that centered around two primary concepts. One of these concepts—that of using a sliding connection to connect a camera to a sling—applied to our product line. We did our research, consulted our lawyers, and found more than enough prior art related to this concept.

    That prior art starts with the US 1885 Carbine Sling, which clearly features an attachment that slides along a leather strap and connects to the rifle with a hook. It goes onto Leica’s 1938 TROOV wrist strap which connects to a tripod-based connection with a hook assembly that would slide freely if not for the way that the strap was constructed. Many other makers—especially in the specialty Leica marketplace—developed these variants further, culminating in exact implementations of the concept. For example, thanks to the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine, we know that was selling their version of this concept in 2005. One look at the photo on that page of a product made of a keyring, hook, and webbing tells the story.

    In short, the idea of a sliding camera sling isn’t an amazing new invention. It’s just a really good idea that’s been around for a while and which has been iteratively developed. Neither we nor our lawyers believed that the USPTO would grant a patent for the claims related to this concept. It was a surprise, then, when our competitor was granted a patent covering the concept on November 1st, 2011. To say that we’re disappointed that the USPTO couldn’t find the prior art around the idea is an understatement.

    Our disappointment doesn’t matter much in the scheme of things, however. Our competitor now has a legal tool and we’re pretty sure that they desire to use it. This is, as they say, a problem. We and our counsel are more than confident that we can defend ourselves, and will do so vigorously if necessary. On the other hand, we’re a very small company that sells our products in limited volumes and mounting such a defense would consume the majority of our resources. After all, it took three years to rescind a patent about a method of using a swing. In other words, we have a Hobson’s choice on our hands. We could very well lose everything even if we won.

    Therefore, we’re acting unilaterally and conceding the market by immediately discontinuing the Loop and LoopIt. Full stop. We apologize for the sudden nature of this decision and our implementation of it, but we feel like our options on this matter are limited.

    This isn’t the end of Luma Labs LLC, however.

    We’ve been working on an interesting new camera strap concept for the last six months. It’s nearing completion and we were planning on introducing it soon as a companion to our existing product line. Now, it will be our primary product. We’re planning to bring it to market in December, the month we’ve traditionally introduced new products. Furthermore, we’ll continue to support our existing customers. Our accessories, including the PodMount, will become available for sale again soon as we take this opportunity to retool and reinvent ourselves. And, we will continue to implement all of our current service and support policies.

    It’s a bet the company moment. It’s not without risks. Big risks. But looking at all the alternatives, we’ll take it.

    —Duncan and Greg

    Review: Rode VideoMic Shotgun Directional Video Condenser Microphone

    Review: Rode VideoMic Shotgun Directional Video Condenser Microphone

    Overview : The RØDE VideoMic is a professional grade shotgun microphone. Based on the latest 'Film industry' technology, the VideoMic is designed specifically for use with high quality Digital Video Cameras.

    Enjoy studio recording quality with pro features like integrated shockmounting, a two-step high-pass filter (flat or 80Hz), and a three-stap pad (0, -10, -20dB).

    The microphone exhibits low noise and an unusually wide bandwidth for its size. It is ultra lightweight, yet rugged due to its ABS construction. The VideoMic is powered by a standard 9V battery and offers a Low Battery LED status indicator.

    Integrated shock-mounting and the switchable high-pass filter reduce unwanted low frequency rumble, and a windshield is also included.

    The VideoMic attaches to any Camcorder that has the standard camera-shoe fitting and utilizes a stereo mini jack for audio output.

    Features :
    • Broadcast and studio sound quality condenser microphone with wind-shield
    • Rugged reinforced ABS construction
    • Two step high-pass filter - flat or 80 Hz; three step PAD - 0, -10, -20dB
    • Integrated cold shoe mount, 1/4" and 3/8" thread
    • 9V battery operation
    VideoMic Specs :
    • Power: 9V battery powered (battery sold separately)
    • Acoustic Principle: Line gradient
    • Directional Pattern: Super Cardioid
    • Frequency range: 40Hz-20kHz, selectable HPF @ 80Hz/12dB/octave
    • Output impedance: 200 Ohms
    • Signal noise ratio: 74 dB SPL (A - weighted per IEC651)
    • Equivalent noise: 20 dB SPL (A - weighted per IEC651)
    • Maximum SPL: 134dB SPL (@ 1kHz, 1% THD into 1KOhm load)
    • Sensitivity: -38 dB re 1 Volt/Pascal (15 mV @ 94 dB SPL) +/- 2 dB @ 1kHz
    • Weight: 176gm
    • Dimensions: 65mmH x 250mmW x 102mmD

    Quality/Usability : Getting good quality audio is very important. Yes, the built-in microphone on your camera or camcorder will do just fine for some but it is very lacking. No one wants to hear unwanted sounds or the sound of your lens focusing. External mics not only help improve sound quality but weeds out unnecessary sound.

    The Rode VideoMic is mainly made of plastic. Since it's consists of mainly plastic, the weight is very light. Although the microphone is light, the size is fairly big. The front of the mic comes with a foam windscreen. The windscreen did help reduce noise from breezes and low wind speeds. However, if you plan to use this microphone outdoors in moderately windy conditions, consider getting a windsock that can reduce noise at higher wind speeds.

    Review: Rode VideoMic Shotgun Directional Video Condenser Microphone Review: Rode VideoMic Shotgun Directional Video Condenser Microphone

    The ON/OFF switch on the back of the mic. The switch has three positions — OFF, ON and High-Pass Filter. The High-Pass Filter cuts out lower frequencies and helps accentuate voices. There is an LED next to the switch that lights up when you turn the microphone on and blinks when the battery needs to be replaced. The battery housing is located on the side of the microphone and holds a single 9V. The expected battery life is about 100 hours. But it's always a good idea to carry a spare with you.

    Review: Rode VideoMic Shotgun Directional Video Condenser Microphone

    Like all shotgun microphones, the VideoMic attaches to your camcorder via the accessory shoe. The oversized shoe fastener is big enough to easily tighten and loosen the VideoMic. The mic has 2 threaded holes on the bottom to attach it to a tripod or boom. The holes are a 3/8" x 16 and a 1/4" x 20 threaded inserts. This definitely comes in handy if you're a videographer who needs to use a pistol grip or boom pole. As a reminder, if using a pistol grip or boom pole, you'll need the necessary cables to send the signals.

    Once you have attached the microphone to the camera's hot shoe, simply plug the 35mm (1/8" Stereo) mic input into your camera in order to get it working. The 8" long coiled audio cord can stretch to about 2 feet. With the VideoMic mounted on top of a camera or camcorder, the cord does not get in the way. It's not too long and it's not too short.

    Review: Rode VideoMic Shotgun Directional Video Condenser Microphone Review: Rode VideoMic Shotgun Directional Video Condenser Microphone

    The VideoMic is different from other shotgun condenser mics on the market. It has a unique shock-mount rather than a fixed microphone. Replaceable rubber bands suspend the microphone on the shock-mount. The shock-mount helps reduce operator noise, protecting the microphone from shocks and jolts. It doesn't completely eliminate it but will help reduce it. So if you're walking around with the camera, you won't hear banging noise from the microphone. The shock-mount allows the microphone to move according to movement. Kind of like springs on a car.

    The ability to capture sound with the Rode VideoMic is quite pleasing. The microphone can pick up voices at about 20 feet away. It's also able to pick up sounds past 20 feet but now the microphone is picking up noises such as heavy traffic and sound you do not want. This drowns out the sound that you do want. So if you're trying to capture audio, its best used when the microphone is pointed at your source.

    Here is a video with recording that I did with my Nikon D7000 and Rode VideoMic:

    Conclusion : Overall, the Rode VideoMic Shotgun Directional Video Condenser Microphone works great. The weight of the microphone doesn't add any additional weight to your camera or camcorder which is a huge plus if you're holding it for a long period of time. It would have been nice if the microphone used AA batteries instead of 9V. The size is a bit too big. It's best used in studios as it won't be in the way.

    It's nice that they also include extra rubber bands for the shock-mount in the event they come off or become loose.

    Manufacturer: Rode Microphones
    Site: Buy from Amazon / Buy from B&H Photo / Buy from Adorama

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