Fstoppers Gear Reviews

Fstoppers Reviews the New DJI Phantom 4

DJI turned some heads last month when they unleashed their latest version of their Phantom series, the Phantom 4. The Phantom 4 has become a breakthrough drone with its new high-end features at a consumer price. Not only does it fit a consumer budget, but it also is an easy and safe drone to fly for beginners. How do I know this? This is the first drone I have ever flown, and we put it to the test.

A Slightly More Scientific Totally Rad! Replichrome Review: Can a Preset Faithfully Emulate Film?

The world is filled with presets. Everywhere you look, you can find presets that promise to give you a certain look. Hipster, soft skin, blue sky, Photoshop, Lightroom, Capture One — today, filters promise to do anything and everything. But what happens when a company like Totally Rad! promises to emulate film? A one-click solution to turn your raw files into Kodak Portra 400 shots? Is it possible? Let’s find out.

Fstoppers Reviews the Elinchrom Skyport Plus System

For years, Elinchrom users have been complaining about the aging Skyport. A few months ago, the Swiss flash manufacturer finally released the brand new Skyport HS, and it is a great product. However, not everyone needs its advanced features. Some photographers couldn’t care less about technical stuff and only want their transmitter to do the job it is designed for: triggering the flash remotely. Well, that’s why the Skyport Plus was recently released.

 Living With Deadcameras and Their Custom Handmade Camera Straps

Camera straps are about as ubiquitous as cameras themselves. If it weren't for the dreadfully uncomfortable ones that come with most cameras, you'd think they're pretty hard to get wrong. Most third party ones are at least adequate, or better, so what can someone do to stand out? We've spent the past month with four custom hand-made-to-order leather straps, in the form of a wrist strap, two neck straps, and even a unique TLR strap from the Deadcameras lineup. Do they have what it takes to stand out in an endless sea of straps? Let's find out.

Holdfast + Fundy Streetwise Review: A Camera Bag for the Street-Smart Photographer

Street photographers are a funny breed and have special requirements for their equipment. Ardent street photographer and owner of Fundy Software, Andrew "Fundy" Funderburg, worked closely with Matthew Swaggart of leathergoods masters Holdfast to create an uncompromising luxury camera bag specifically for those that shoot rangefinder and other mirrorless cameras and need to work light and fast. We spent the past six weeks using one ourselves to see if they succeeded in their quest.

Fstoppers Reviews the Western Digital My Cloud Mirror 2-Bay NAS Server

I'm normally a huge numbers geek. I want to know every specification of every device because I believe in the power of statistics. But when it comes to hard drives, well, I just want them to work. I want ample space for my data, I want to know it's backed up without a second thought, and I want to be able to access it quickly and easily, no matter what device I'm on. Enter the Western Digital My Cloud Mirror.

Sony A7S II Filming Videography Kevin Whitley New Orleans

For years, videographers shooting in dark situations frequently ran into the issue of a ton of noise in darks and shadows that would oftentimes make some footage difficult or impossible to use. Many have heralded the release of the a7S II with applause due to its power for video in low-light situations and even to record bursts of high frame rates in HD, so we took one into the deep recesses of an abandoned power plant in New Orleans to see how it did.

Hands-On Look at the Newly Announced Sony FE 50mm f/1.8 Lens

Introduced alongside the FE 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 last week, Sony has added its own take on the “Nifty Fifty” to their lens lineup. Aimed at photography hobbyists, the FE 50mm f/1.8 will only cost $248 and gives a wide aperture option to those that may be only shooting with the FE 24-70mm f/3.5-5.6 kit lens at the moment. Here are my first impressions of the new 50mm f/1.8 after briefly shooting with the lens.

First Hands-On Look At the Sony FE 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 Lens

If you’re looking for a little more reach with your Sony Alpha mirrorless camera, there is a new telephoto lens coming soon that you may want to check out. Sony announced plans to ship their longest E-mount focal length zoom lens, the FE 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 G OSS, in May 2016. I had the chance to shoot with the new telephoto mounted to the 42.4-megapixel Sony a7RII, and am happy to share my thoughts on the practical-use aspects of the lens in this article.

Photographing a Concert With the Nikon D5

Canon and Nikon have always had their single digit models at the top level of performance. From the original D1, bringing a professional digital camera to the world that didn’t require a separate backpack for a processor, to the D3, Nikon’s first ever full-frame body, this series of cameras has pushed the envelope of what a camera can do. The Nikon D5 not only pushed the boundary, it has demolished any previous limitation that I have found in a camera.

Hands On With the New Leica Summilux-TL 35mm f/1.4 Lens

Leica T users rejoice! Leica has officially announced a Summilux 50 equivalent for your aluminum wonder that gives you the benefits of autofocus, electronic aperture control, and metadata to go along with the blazing fast glass. I had an absolute pleasure spending some time with the new 'Lux and was able to put to get a good feel for it in the real world. Read on for my findings and sample photos.

Fstoppers Reviews the Professional-Grade Tamrac G-Elite G26 Photo Backpack

When Gura Gear was absorbed into the Tamrac brand in late 2015, the beloved Bataflae photo backpack was left without a home. Without hesitation, Tamrac introduced the G-Elite line that improved upon the genius butterfly-opening backpack design of the original Bataflae and was launched in two sizes: the G32 and the G26. Over the past few months I’ve been running around with the G26 version and it is without a doubt the best backpack I’ve ever used.

Fstoppers Reviews the Sony a6300, a Small $999 Camera that Commands Big Respect

In early February, Sony unveiled the a6300, a follow-up to one of the best selling interchangeable-lens cameras of all time, the a6000. The updated a6300 features an APS-C 24.2-megapixel CMOS sensor, 4D Focus system with 425 on-chip phase-detection points and 169 contrast-detection areas, 11 frames-per-second burst shooting, and 4K video recording without pixel binning. Along with many other similar features that are available on Sony’s flagship a7II-series cameras, but with a price tag of only $999 (body only), this is one of the most feature-rich prosumer cameras ever released.

Syrp's Genie Mini Is the Best Time-Lapse Motion Control Device That'll Always Be With You

Helped by great design, marketing, and a superb product to boot, Syrp’s motorized time-lapse aid, the Genie, became incredibly popular with photographers. As the product that launched the company on Kickstarter three years ago, it was a premium offering, though. And sometimes, it’s useful to have something fantastic in a “light” version. Enter the Genie Mini.

Fstoppers Reviews the Xcellon HDD RAID Docking Station

Storage is cheap, or so we've heard. But, for many professional photographers, storing and backing up large volumes of images while also keeping up the transfer and read speeds we are accustomed to can wind up being very expensive. RAID docks are a great alternative to purchasing dedicated RAID drives, and the new Xcellon dock provides a cost-effective alternative. However, does it stack up in the long run?

Fstoppers Review of the 3Pod Monopod for Field Photography, Video, and Self Defense?

The smaller size, lighter weight, and ability to get a high angle shot has made the monopod a useful tool for many photographers and videographers, especially for subjects like sports, wildlife, and run and gun situations. I got to review the new 3Pod Orbit Monopod to test its features on a couple of different projects to see how it holds up to real world shooting scenarios.

Snapchat: The Next Big Thing for Photographers (Part 1)

Since the birth of social media, almost every business, public figure, and of course, creative, like us, are discovering new, interesting ways to engage with their following to portray value. In our industry, engagement and creativity in garnering it is very essential because of the abundance of noise and content that exists in the social media world. By constantly looking for new ways to engage with their fans and projecting value to clientele, there are always innovative ways to fill the gap. With that being said, there’s a new kid on the block and its name is Snapchat.

The Layman's Guide to Buying Speedlights

For many forms of photography, an off camera flash should pop-up (pun intended) at some point in your career. Whether you’re a portrait photographer, a product photographer, or a sports photographer, some sort of flash other than what is built into your camera will be necessary. Whether you’re keeping it on or off camera, picking a speedlight can be a daunting task. Here is a guide to picking the right speedlight.

Fstoppers Reviews the Phase One XF for Landscape and Nature Photography

Midway through 2015, Phase One released the XF camera system, an impressive digital medium format system which combines modularity, software upgradability, and image quality into the ultimate shooting package. Last August I spent a couple weeks shooting with the XF paired with the IQ3 50MP digital back, and in January I again spent two more weeks with the newly released mind-blowing XF 100MP system. In this review I cover my time with the new Phase One system shooting landscapes and nature photography and my experience playing with the image files in post-processing.

Snapchat vs Live Streaming & Social Media
I’m only one week into using Snapchat and I’m already seeing the tremendous potential with the platform. But, Before I dive into the benefits it has over live streaming and other social media, I have to admit, I was initially very against the idea of Snapchat because I couldn’t wrap my head around the concept of disposable content that disappears after 24 hours. So why the sudden change of heart about using Snapchat? What took me so long and why am I comparing it to Live Steaming? Well, here we go…