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Deal: Popular Photography Magazine for $3.99 per year

DiscountMags offers a Popular Photography Magazine 1-Year Subscription for $13.97. Coupon code "DEALNEWS" cuts it to $3.99. It includes 12 issues. Deal ends April 1.

Of note, you can purchase up to a 3-year subscription at this per-year price.

Unboxing Video: Herringbone Heritage Leather Hand Grip Strap

We just received our Herringbone Heritage Leather Camera Hand Strap in the mail. Below is a video of the unboxing and what is included.

Be sure to follow us on YouTube, Facebook and Twitter for latest videos, news and reviews.

Review: Glidecam XR-2000 Series Handheld Camera Stabilizer

Review: Glidecam XR-2000 Series Handheld Camera Stabilizer

Overview : The Glidecam XR-2000 Handheld Camera Stabilizer represents an affordable way to put your compact camcorder on a floating platform, enabling you to capture the types of professional handheld shots that add dynamic flair to any video production. Smooth camera movement that ranges freely in every dimension is not something you can achieve via dollies or shoulder-mount rigs. For truly unfettered, floating camera moves, you need a gimbal-based camera stabilizer.

The XR-2000 is a complete handheld system, with a dynamic camera platform that will allow you to mount & achieve proper balance for your small to medium camcorder (2-6 lb), a telescoping central post that allows you to adjust the height of the unit, and a balance platform that supports any combination of the included large and small counterbalance weights. At the center of everything, however, is the three-axis gimbal that lets the camera handle move freely while the rest of the stabilizer stays upright, thereby eliminating the shake that plagues most handheld camerawork.

The design of the Glidecam XR-2000 is tool-free, so you'll be able to set up and achieve balance easily & quickly every time. With practice you'll be steering your camera through three dimensions naturally and smoothly without a second thought, as if the camera platform were a cloud floating through calm skies.

For long periods of operation with the XR-2000, you will no doubt benefit from the addition of an optional support accessory (sold separately), such as a Body-Pod, a Forearm Brace, or an X10 or Smooth Shooter arm/vest support.

Features :
  • Dynamic Camera Balance Platform (Camera Mounting Platform)
  • Adjustable convergence, precision, three-axis Gimbal
  • No-tools Telescoping Center Post
  • Adjustable, inertial-control Base Platform
  • Foam padded Handle Grip
  • Precision Bearings at all vital points
  • Made with precision Aluminum
  • Anodized Studio Black
  • Laser etched Labeling
  • Allows unrestricted Booming and 360 degree Panning
  • Rubber feet under Base Platform
  • Made in USA
Glidecam XR-2000 Specifications :
  • Designed for compact, low profile cameras weighing from 2 to 6 pounds
  • Camera Mounting Head Dimensions: 6.00" x 4.187" x .75"
  • Base Platform Dimensions: 10.00" x 4.00"
  • Central Support Post: 1" diameter
  • 15" tall in shortest mode
  • 22" tall in longest mode
  • Weight: 2.1 pounds without Counter Weight Discs
  • Each large Counter Weight Disc averages 2.75 ounces
  • Each small Counter Weight Disc averages 1 ounce
  • The Glidecam XR-2000 includes 12 large and 4 small Counter Weight Discs
  • 12 large Counter Weight Discs = 2.07 pounds
  • 4 small Counter Weight Discs = .25 pounds
  • Camera Mounting Plate has 1/4" mounting holes
  • Base Platform has 1/4" mounting hole for optional LCD Monitor attachment
  • Made in USA

Quality/Usability : Glidecam has released the XR-Series which replaces the long standing Pro-Series (i.e. 2000 and 4000 Pro). I don't know when the Pro-Series was released but based on the design, it looks the same. So how is the XR-Series?

Everyone has at least recorded a video whether its with a point-and-shoot, DSLR, camcorder or even on a cellphone. But have you seen those home or amateur videos where the camera is handheld and its shaky and jumpy that you get nauseous from watching? Well the Glidecam XR-Series helps eliminate those shaky videos.

The Glidecam XR allows you to achieve proper balance with a floating camera experience. You can walk, run or move your hands up and down, left and right and your camera would be steady due to the three axis gimbal design.

First, lets take a look at the unboxing video that we made and what is included with the Glidecam XR-Series:

Included is the head plate that you mount your camera to, mid plate, bottom plate, telescoping post, base platform to hold counter weights. Also included are (2) rubber washers, (2) black thumb nuts, (4) bolts to hold counter weights, (4) 1/4" washers, (2) camera mounting screws, (8) black thumb screws, (12) large counter weight disks and (4) small counter weight disks. The shortest height is 12" tall and the tallest height is 16" tall.

NOTE: Since XR-1000 is smaller, so the size of base platform and telescoping post is small. Also, it comes with (8) large counter weight disks. The XR-4000 is bigger, so the size of the base platform will be bigger.

Review: Glidecam XR-2000 Series Handheld Camera Stabilizer

So how do we put this together? We've made a video of how to assemble the Glidecam XR-2000:

Trying to get it balanced requires some patience. As you know, every device does not weight the same. Item can be front/rear heavy or about the same. So the counter weights would need to be added or removed accordingly whether its adding more or less and lowering/raising the platform base.

To test its balance, you lift the bottom of the Glidecam so that the post is horizontal. Let go and it should take 2-3 seconds (by counting one-one thousand, etc. or one-mississippi, etc.) for the Glidecam to be vertical. If it swings down too fast, its bottom heavy and weights would need to be removed. If the camera turns upside down, its top heavy and requires more weight at the bottom.

If your camera tilts forward/backwards or leans to the right/left, you can simply adjust it to the center by turning the black thumb screws on the plate that holds your camera. You don't have to loosen it completely but enough that it will allow you to slide the plate forward or backwards. There are black thumb screws on the bottom of the plate as well and this lets you slide the black left or right. Just make sure that you do it slowly. Over adjusting will throw everything off balance. This is where the HD-Series outshines the XR-Series because it offers precise adjustments with a simple turn of the knob rather than 4 screws.

For a video on how to set up the Glidecam, check out the video on Philip Bloom's website and check out these videos from NAB 2011 - Video 1 of 3, Video 2 of 3, Video 3 of 3.

Once you have it adjusted and balanced correctly, the following video shows you the Glidecam XR-2000 in action after it's been set up and balanced correctly. NOTE: I am not a "professional" and have not mastered it yet but with a little more practice, I would have no problem using it.

Conclusion : Overall, the Glidecam XR-2000 Series Handheld Camera Stabilizer. If you're into cinematography, this will be your best friend. Setting up the initial Glidecam is very easy. Trying to balance your gear can take some patience but once you get the idea of how everything works, you will have no problem adjusting it on the fly.

I'm sure some of you are wondering, what is the difference between the XR-Series and the HD-Series. I've asked myself the same question. The HD-Series is the "higher-end" so it costs more. Both look exactly the same but each Series is slightly unique in terms of function. Both offer a foam handle grip, three axis gimbal and both hold the same amount of weight. But here is where they slightly differ:

The Glidecam HD-Series offers a camera-mounting platform with a quick-release, no-tools, drop-on camera plate that allows you to quickly attach or remove your camera. Ergonomic, control knobs allow quick, precise adjustment of the top stage’s back and forth, and side-to-side movement. These controls allow you to adjust the camera’s horizontal balance.

The XR-Series camera mounting platform can be adjusted to move back and forth, and side to side, to quickly allow you to adjust the camera’s horizontal balance without featuring a quick-release camera plate and back and forth/side-to-side control knobs.

The HD-Series offers a unique and proprietary Dynamic Base Platform that can expand or contract to a greater degree, than that of the Glidecam XR-Series. This allows you to easily adjust the systems dynamic balance or to increase or decrease the systems rotational panning inertia.

Ultimately, if videography is your main hobby or business, I highly suggest upgrading to the HD-Series. The quick release and ability to adjust the balance with a simple knob will definitely help you out. If you plan on using the Glidecam for a long period of time or have heavy gear, I highly suggest getting the arm brace.

Manufacturer: Glidecam
Site: Buy from B&H Photo / Authorized Dealers

Other Glidecam XR-Series
XR-1000: Buy from B&H Photo / Authorized Dealers

XR-4000: Buy from B&H Photo / Authorized Dealers

Press Release: Custom SLR releases M-Plate - Manfrotto and Arca-Swiss compatible tripod plate

We first reported about the M-Plate by Customer SLR back in October. A couple months later, we posted a sneak peak of the M-Plate. And today, we're glad to inform you that it is now available! The M-Plate retails for $74.95. There is an attachment that is sold separately ($12.95) that allows you to attach a hand strap.

If you don't know who Custom SLR is, they started off on Kickstarter, a site where people can pledge money to help products become a reality. If it reaches the goal, production begin and those who pledged will receive the product at a discounted price. With that, Custom SLR released their own neck strap (Split Strap), sling strap (Glide Strap) and now M-Plate.

Below is a full press release:
Available Today, Crowded-funded Custom SLR Offers an Ergonomic Camera Tripod Plate Enabling Quick-Release to Any Tripod and Strap System; Custom SLR is the First Kickstarter Team to Deliver Three Projects to Backers

SAN JOSE, C.A., MARCH 27, 2012 -- Custom SLR, a design company creating products that improve the shooting experience for photographers, has announced the immediate availability of the M-Plate universal camera tripod plate. The M-Plate is the world’s first universal tripod plate to offer built-in Manfrotto RC2 and Arca-Swiss connections as well as attachment points for accessories. Produced with appreciation from the support of more than 400 Kickstarter backers and designed by a team of seasoned photographers, the M-Plate enables quick release from any tripod head and can attach multiple camera accessories into a single plate.

Crafted in the USA from aerospace grade aluminum, the M-Plate is sturdy, steady and lightweight, and works with any camera strap system including the Custom SLR C-Loop strap mount, BlackRapid,  Spider Holster, Sun Sniper, Cotton Carrier and virtually any system that would typically occupy the camera tripod socket. When using the M-Plate in conjunction with the C-Loop camera strap mount, photographers will find the additional benefit of a perfectly balanced camera for increased comfort and quick access. The ergonomic design of M-Plate relocates the tripod socket making it easier to shoot portrait shots. Designed as a part of a modular system, the built-in M-Link Port™ will connect with future photo and video attachments, including flash brackets and video rigs that are currently in development. A Kickstarter first, the M-Plate is the Custom SLR team’s third project funded successfully through the crowd-funding website.

“While connecting with real photographers that use the C-Loop, we heard over and over that they also wanted something to connect with their tripod. That was the inspiration for the M-Plate but what grew from that inspiration is a system that will work with any strap system and any tripod – improving the shooting experience for all photographers,” said Ivan Wong, Chief Operations Officer, Custom SLR. “We started Custom SLR as a means to solve our own problems and it’s amazing to be able to help so many of our fellow photographers as well. Thank you to all of our Kickstarter backers for help bringing the M-Plate to life.”

The M-Plate comes in a black anodized finish for durability and a sleek, seamless profile when attached to the camera’s tripod socket. An impact absorbent and textured layer between the aluminum and camera ensures a snug fit and eliminates scratching. Additionally, the M-Plate features an optional hand strap attachment accessory.
The M-Plate is available starting today, March 27 for a MSRP of $74.95. Photographers can purchase the M-Plate through or through many authorized dealers worldwide.

Deal: Sanyoo Eneloop Rechargable Batteries for $19.95

Adorama offers the Sanyo Eneloop New 1500 Ni-MH Glitter AA Rechargable Battery 8-Pack, model no. HR-3UTGA-8BPG, for $19.95 with free shipping. These 2,000 mAH AA batteries are precharged and can be recharged up to 1,500 times.

Deal: AmazonBasics AA or AAA Alkaline Batteries 20-Pack for $3 + free shipping

Amazon offers the AmazonBasics AA Alkaline Battery 20-Pack, model no. LR06-20P, is available for $3.56 before Subscribe & Save, $3.38 with free shipping after ($0.17/battery).

Of note, the AmazonBasics AAA Alkaline Battery 20-Pack, model no. LR03-20P, for $3.24. Add it to your cart via Subscribe & Save to knock it to $3.08 and get free shipping ($0.15/battery).

These make great flash batteries or emergency batteries for cameras if you have a grip with battery tray. Be sure to cancel Subscribe & Save once your order ships to avoid being billed for subsequent shipments.

PayPal Takes On Square with ‘PayPal Here’

Square Credit Card Reader allowed you to accept credit cards instead of cash, checks or money orders. This makes receiving payments convenient and quick. However, one of the biggest online e-payment businesses, PayPal (eBay-owned company), never had anything setup for their users until now. PayPal announced PayPal Here. The concept is the same; the reader itself, like Square, plugs into the headphone jack of your smartphone, swipe the credit card and it will process the payment.

PayPal Here works on iPhone and Android smartphones. No word on tablets. PayPal here takes a 2.7% fee per transaction versus Square's 2.75%.

We'll have a full review when we get a unit in to review. Full press release below.

Deal: Think Tank Photo Modular Rotation Systems Test Drive Program

Test Drive one of Think Tank Photo’s new Modular Rotation Systems free for 28 days. If you like it, keep it and your credit card will be charged. If not, return it to Think Tank no charge. The Modular Rotation System is the choice of working professionals who shoot sports, weddings, nature or any situation where the need to stay mobile and rapid gear changes are essential.

The Modular Component Set™ V2.0 consists of two individual lens changer pouches, a flash pouch and an accessory pouch that lock to or slide around any Think Tank Photo belt. Since the pouches are modular, the carrying system can be reconfigured to match any assignment, under any condition.

The Modular Skin Set V2.0 consists of two individual lens changer pouches, a flash pouch and an accessory pouch that lock to or slide around a Think Tank Photo belt. Components are lightweight, compressible and easily collapsible. Perfect for traveling. The "Sound Silencer" feature adds stealth by eliminating hook-and-loop tearing noises.

This offer ends on March 31, 2012 or when 100 of each modular set has been reserved for the Test Drive program.

*This offer is only available within the United States because of the shipping costs of delivering the product from and to the U.S.

Deal: $4.99/year Photography Magazines from Discount Mags

Discount Mags has a few Magazine Subscriptions on sale.

Review: SterlingTek POWWER NB-5L Replacement Canon PowerShot Battery

Review: SterlingTek POWWER NB-5L Replacement Canon PowerShot Battery

Overview : The SterlingTek NB-5L is a replacement rechargeable battery pack for the Canon Powershot SD700 and IXUS 800. The lithium-ion chemistry makes the battery free from memory effect, takes approximately 240 shots with LCD on and 700 shots with LCD off on a single charge and lasts 360 minute for playback time.

Features :
  • Canon NB-5L Battery Pack (POWWER Brand name)
  • 100% OEM Compatible - Complies with or Exceeds OEM Canon NB-5L Battery specs
  • Guaranteed to operate with your Canon NB-5L digital camera
  • 3.7 Volt 1600 mAh*
  • Lithium-Ion Rechargeable
  • 32.0 x 44.9 x 7.9 mm (1.26 x 1.77 x 0.31 in)
  • CE Safety Certification
  • SterlingTek's Canon NB-5L Battery pack is warranted for 12 months
*Web will say 1400mAh but the label on the battery we received stated 1600mAh

Quality/Usability : I've been looking to upgrade my Canon PowerShot SD1000 with a new camera that allowed me more freedom to adjust settings and save files in RAW format. After much searching and reading of reviews, I purchased my new Canon PowerShot S100. In those reviews, the only downfall of the S100 was the battery life. 200 shots before the battery dies.

Like with all OEM products, they are pricey. I'm not fond of buying aftermarket batteries as they can fail or damage the camera. I did some searching and browsing of forums to see what replacement batteries people have bought. Many have recommended SterlingTek batteries. Not only did some purchase for their point-and-shoot cameras but they bought for their DSLR and had no complaints.

For $13.99, I decided to take a chance. Surely, I didn't want to spend $50 on an OEM Canon battery. Even if the aftermarket battery did fail after a few years, I can purchase a new one and it would still be less than what an OEM battery would cost.

Review: SterlingTek POWWER NB-5L Replacement Canon PowerShot Battery Review: SterlingTek POWWER NB-5L Replacement Canon PowerShot Battery

The physical size of the aftermarket NB-5L battery is the same as the battery that came with the camera. It fit perfectly inside the Canon PowerShot S100.

Review: SterlingTek POWWER NB-5L Replacement Canon PowerShot Battery Review: SterlingTek POWWER NB-5L Replacement Canon PowerShot Battery
Review: SterlingTek POWWER NB-5L Replacement Canon PowerShot Battery Review: SterlingTek POWWER NB-5L Replacement Canon PowerShot Battery

The SterlingTek NB-5L has a slightly higher mAh, 1600mAh vs 1120mAh for the OEM battery. The mAh information on the web for the SterlingTek NB-5L is inconsistent. But the battery I received is 1600mAh. The SterlingTek's NB-5L battery also works with the following PowerShot cameras:

Canon Powershot SX210 IS, SX230 HS, SX210 IS, S100, SX230 HS, SX200 IS, SD790 IS, SD850 IS, SD870 IS, SX200 IS, SD800 IS, SD880 IS, SD970 IS, SD900, SD790 IS, SD700 IS, SD950 IS, SD870 IS, SD890 IS, SD880 IS, SD990 IS, SD800 IS, SD990 IS

Review: SterlingTek POWWER NB-5L Replacement Canon PowerShot Battery

So with a bigger mAh, does it last longer? That's what we're about to find out. With the OEM battery from my PowerShot S100, I got about 170-200 shots before I have to recharge. Many factors can attribute to the battery life whether its taking pictures/video or viewing photos/video. With the SterlingTek battery, I was able to get slightly more and the battery lasted a lot longer. I was able to get between 220-240. Not using the camera for a couple of days and than using it again, the battery had plenty of life to it where as with the OEM battery, it would show 3 full bars and quickly drop to 1 bar. *NOTE: Battery life can vary depending on camera as well. Certain cameras will last longer than others based on the features incorporated into the camera.

Conclusion : Overall, the SterlingTek POWWER NB-5L Replacement Canon PowerShot Battery worked perfectly. The battery did not affect the performance of the camera and was the same size as the original battery. It offered additional shots and serves as a great main battery or even as a backup. SterlingTek offers a 1-year warranty. So if there was any defect from normal use, SterlingTek will replace it.

Manufacturer: POWWER (SterlingTek)
Site: Buy from Amazon

Deal: Adobe Lightroom 4 Available for Purchase

Back in January, Adobe released a public beta for Lightroom 4. Today, Lightroom 4 is available for purchase. Lightroom 4 supports Nikon D4, D800/E and lenses. Full version will be available for $149 and Update version (upgrade from Lightroom 3) is $79.

The following new lens profiles for Nikon mount lenses were added:

Nikon - Tokina AT-X 124 AF PRO DX 12-24mm f/4 (IF)
Nikon - Tokina AT-X 124 AF PRO DX II 12-24mm f/4 (IF)
Nikon - Tokina AT-X 165 PRO DX 16-50mm f/2.8 (IF) ASPHERICAL
Nikon - Tokina AT-X 535 PRO DX 50-135mm f/2.8 (IF)
Nikon - Tokina AT-X M35 PRO DX 35mm f/2.8 Macro
Nikon - Tokina AT-X M100 AF PRO D 100mm f/2.8 Macro
Nikon - Tokina AT-X 116 PRO DX 11-16mm f/2.8
Nikon - Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 85mm f/1.8G
Nikon - Sigma 18-200mm F3.5-6.3 II DC OS HSM

Full version is expected to ship out March 7th followed by Upgrade version on March 12th. Can't wait? Instant download options are available on

Full Version ($149) - Amazon | B&H Photo | Adorama
Update Version ($79) - Amazon | B&H Photo | Adorama

Project 365: Day 65 - Midtown NYC

Panoramic view of Midtown NYC

Project 365: Day 64 - Empire State of Mind

Panoramic view of Empire State Building from 30th Floor of my office building.

Press Release: Introducing the Canon 600EX-RT Speedlite, Wireless Transmitter, GPS & Accessories

Along with the exciting 5D Mark III, Canon has also completely refreshed its top of the line Speedlite system bringing it to new levels of performance and control.

From B&H Photo
From Adorama
From Amazon
Full press release below on the Canon 600EX-RT Speedlite, Wireless Transmitter, GPS & Accessories. Go HERE for full press release for Canon EOS 5D Mark III.

    Press Release: Introduction the Canon EOS 5D Mark III

    Canon has announced the new release of the Canon 5D Mark III. Along with the exciting 5D Mark III, Canon has also completely refreshed its top of the line Speedlite system bringing it to new levels of performance and control.

    From B&H Photo
    From Adorama
    From Amazon
    Full press release below on the Canon EOS 5D Mark III. Go HERE for full press release for Canon 600EX-RT Speedlite, Wireless Transmitter, GPS & Accessories.

    Project 365: Day 63 - Turtle Time

    Ninja Turtle footwear at your local Foot Locker. NIKE approved.

    Project 365: Day 60 - City View

    City view with Statue of Liberty in the distance.

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