Camera bags and more: Gura Gear acquires Tamrac

tamrac-logoUtah-based Gura Gear acquired camera bag maker Tamrac, which had been under Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection since January.

GuraGear announced last week it “agreed to acquire the brand and assets of Tamrac,” and noted that company’s “37 year history of developing affordable carrying solutions for photographers.”

Gura Gear says it will now “build upon a brand with a legacy of designing solutions for photographers and a dedicated customer following while leveraging worldwide distribution.”

Gura Gear began in 2008; Tamrac in 1977.

By the way, the company has very interesting articles and photos on its blog here.


ExpoImaging snap-on boosts flash


expoimaging rouge flash

We don’t cover a lot of accessories here (let us know if you want to see more coverage of them!) but when we do it’s because something seems markedly different or innovative:

Can a quick snap-on attachment expand the reach a SLR’s the notoriously weak pop-up flash? ExpoImaging says it can, and calls its new gadget for SLR users the “Rogue Safari Pop-Up Flash Booster.”

Designed for telephoto shooting, the module concentrate the light from the flash to give a claimed 8x boost — an improvement of up to 3 f/stops. “With the added power from the Rogue Safari, photographers that rely on their pop-up flash will have enough on-board lighting power to freeze action,” the company says, “and get crisp colorful images even at the outer reaches of their 100mm+ telezoom lenses. The extra light can make the difference between a sharp image with good color, and a dark, underexposed missed opportunity.”

The $35 Rogue Safari weighs two ounces and doesn’t require batteries.


Triggertrap wirelessy controls cameras from phones

It’s a rare accessory or app that I can see myself using someday soon: this is one. Triggertrap says its Mobile app and dongle combine the capabilities of several expensive camera accessories into a single, cost-effective application. It offers multiple time lapse modes that “will replace expensive intervalometers,” long-exposure HDR modes, and can trigger the shutter based on sound, motion, facial recognition, electromagnetic pulse, and other variables. Another feature billed as a a new way to shoot: using the phone’s GPS, it will fire the shutter over pre-determined distances. “This camera accessory is likely the most feature-expanding $35 a photographer could spend,” the company says.

Now, Triggertrap Mobile for iOS and Android devices will now allow wireless triggering functionality via WiFi network: one device is connected to the camera with the dongle; the other controls it via WiFi. The new wireless functionality is a free upgrade for existing Triggertrap Mobile users. “With our new WiFi triggering mode, we’re now able to provide a remote triggering capability that is fast, long range, and inexpensive,” he developers say.

The app is $5; the dongle is $35, and is compatible with more than 280 cameras.

Triggertrap is Kickstarter-funded company based in Bristol, UK.


Two ways to keep kids looking at the camera

We all know it can be hard to get distracted children to look at the camera for a portrait. Two accessories offers a solution.

The Look Lock system from Tether Tools “is an ideal companion for any photographer who frequently works with children,” the company says, as the visual aid keeps them engaged in the photo shoot. “Gone are the days of parents precariously dangling toys over you and your equipment to grab their attention.  Say goodbye to making monkey calls to get a brief glance at the camera. The Look Lock is a simple and effective tool to keep your subjects interested.”

Photographers and parents know it is not always easy to keep the attention of the little ones or pets during a shoot, Tether Tools adds.  “The Look Lock System is designed to keep kids and animals looking at the camera’s lens and allowing you to focus on what you do best – create great images.”

The $75 Look Lock positions into any hot shoe or extension rail. The SmartClip universal mount holds any smartphone,  from which you the child’s favorite media.

More information is here.

For a bit more low-tech solution: the Shutter Hugger is a stuffed toy that wraps around the camera. They come as dogs, dinosaurs, elephants , and more, for $20.

The Texas company also now offers a $16 “Mommy” model for smaller cameras.










Hoocap combines lens hood and cap

Tired of losing lens caps or attaching hoods? Why carry both? The Hoocap melds the two and protects against both scratches and lens flares.

You can see images and an explanatory video here.

The device is $49, reports Popular Photography, which has more information here.

LensPen improves sensor cleaning

With its SensorKlear system, LensPen says “what was once a tedious, time-consuming, and nerve rattling experience can be done in less than a minute.”

The Vancouver-based company will introduce five new lens, filter and display cleaning pens, as well as an improved sensor cleaning loupe.

The new SensorKlear Loupe features eight LEDs, double the original model’s, and is powered by two AAA batteries. The loupe fits both standard and Micro Four-Thirds cameras. The “Hurricane Blower” remove dry dust. The angled tip of the SensorKlear II pen removes sticky dust. “The sensor can be cleaned in about 30 seconds,” LensPen says.

Also, the five LensPen models feature a new design. They’re completely safe for all lens, filter and screen surfaces, the company says, using a special carbon compound.

Soloshot stays in the Picture, on the DIMAcast

A new automatic cameraman tripod system lets athletes, parents, and filmmakers get video footage of the action without needing someone to hold a camera, the developer says, as it automatically keeps the camera pointed towards the subject.

The San Antonio, Texas company says the Soloshot “turns almost any camera into an automatic tracking camera” — and they make the entire product themselves. The system consists of a tripod base and a small waterproof sensor on an armband. “Simply mount a camera to the tripod base and slide the armband on to the subject,’ the company says.

In this episode of the DIMAcast, cofounder Scott Taylor tells us of the long days that went into making the device, and how photographers and videographers are using it now.


Lightweight carbon fiber tripods from Manfrotto

Photography accessory maker Manfrotto launched a new family of carbon fiber camera supports “designed to accompany passionate new photographers” with “the right balance of performance, practicality and versatility.”

Manfrotto says it developed a next-generation innovative composite tube that uses optimized fiber angles to provide consistent advantages of torsion/flexion rigidity and stability compared to aluminum tubing.

The Manfrotto 290 Carbon series is designed to be easily transported and carried, Manfrotto claims; small when folded, but lightweight and very stable when open; durable and built for heavy-duty use, with no reduction in strength or performance over time.

The company says aspiring photographers find cheap “first tripods” are too flimsy and can’t be upgraded and that professional tripods have too many features, too many options and are too much of an investment.

The Manfrotto 290 Carbon range includes a “legs-only” tripod, a monopod and a small selection of ready-to-use complete tripod + head kits.

More information is here.


CineSquid camera mount sticks anywhere

Austin, Texas-based Cinetics says its suction cup camera mount system allows filmmakers to capture previously unthinkable shots by attaching their camera to smooth surfaces, from any angle, so that “even amateur filmmakers can capture stunning, Hollywood-style camera shots.”

The $235 CineSquid combines powerful suction cups with the flexible GorillaPod Focus tripod and a BallHead X to create a portable and modular system “that filmmakers can take anywhere,” the company says.

The device can yield high-speed car chases, aerial views from the belly of an airplane up to 200mph, and scenic shots from a boat, train or any moving vehicle, Cinetics adds.

The CineSquid is an innovative follow-up to Cinetics previous devices, the CineSkates tripod dolly — and is available as a $120 add-on to that product as well.




Improved PocketWizard triggers flash remotely

The transceiver mounts in a camera's hot shoe.

LPA Design says its PocketWizard Plus III remote trigger for cameras and lights is a “feature-packed, easy-to-use solution” that “provides photographers with the most reliable triggering system which they will never outgrow, and never want to be without.”

The $139 Plus III transceiver features 32 channels and “Selective Quad-Zone Triggering” that enables photographers to remotely trigger flash and/or cameras in groups or individually all wirelessly from hundreds of feet away. Performance enhancing features include long range mode and repeater mode to help photographers “tackle the most challenging shooting environments and open the door for never-attempted image ideas,” the company says.” All features, channels and zones can be set from the soft-touch keypad and are displayed on the backlit LCD.

More information is here.