Now for my favorite part of PhotoPlus Expo – finding cool new products! Sure, the big boys like Canon and Nikon have massive booths to attract crowds, but I have plenty of respect for the little guys trying to make an impression from their little booth.
1. Custom Brackets.
I have seen Custom Brackets at a few shows. But, this year, I finally “got it”. They offer a variety of brackets for a variety of cameras and needs. Displaying the “swiss-army” device on a Canon 7D above was enough to draw me over. Mounting on the hot-shoe, it provides a t-bracket for a mic, LED flood lite and a Hoodman 3.0 Loop. Very unique, well made, beautifully finished and made from solid aluminum. But, the bracket that I bought was their CB Folding T on the right. If you want to truly eliminate red-eye, you need to raise the flash above the subject’s eyes. I have looked at brackets before and they have been either too flimsy or too impractical to carry. Not the Folding-T! It is made from solid aluminum with a thick foam grip … and it folds flat enough to fit in a deep pocket or camera bags. It even has two mounts to handle both a mic and flash/floodlite. I bought the CB Folding T at Adorama for only $80. This is just a couple of the many custom bracket solutions that they offer. See the photo below for some additional innovative brackets.
2. Flashpoint DSLR Rig for under $100.
I have looked at DSLR rigs from Zacuto and Red Rock Micro since the Canon 7D was introduced. Where do they get the nerve to charge those crazy prices?? This DSLR Rig imported by DotLine was just added to Adorama’s Flashpoint line. It is another “swiss-army” device that can be customized to suit your style. With two big handles in the front, you can brace it over your shoulder or against your chest. Every joint is adjustable for a custom fit. It even folds down for storage (Allen-wrench included). There is plenty of room to mount accessories like a LCD monitor, Flash/Floodlite and a Mic. Adorama even has it on sale for $90.
3. Westcott Apollo 43-inch Orb and Apollo 16″ x 30″ Strip.
Westcott makes it simple to build a lighting solution using Speedlites. Kits are their big thing. You may have heard about Lastolite’s new Hotrod line which features a 36-inch Orb and a 16″ x 48″ Strip. Well, Westcott introduced similar items at PhotoPlus for over $100 less AND they include a stand. They open and close just like umbrellas for quick set-up and break-down. The Westcott Apollo 43-inch Orb is $149 and so is the Westcott Apollo 16″ x 30″ Strip. Sounds like a bargain to me.
4. Metal Prints from Bay Photo.
Metal prints are the new sexy medium for photos. And, Bay Photo makes the price reasonable with plenty of options. Look at all those custom shapes. But, how do they look? Truly photographic quality with real color depth. The dye sublimation process actually embeds the color in the brushed aluminum and then puts a gloss finish over it. You can even opt for a sheer metallic look very similar to Mpix’s Kodak Metallic Paper which I love. Either way, the end product is a gorgeous scratch resistant photo – perfect for wall mounting or even portfolio samples.
So that’s it for this year. Please take a look at my other articles on PhotoPlus Expo below. Now, I have to get ready for the Halloween Parade in Greenwich Village tonight