Wednesday Web Links 3/30/11

The weeks just keep flying by. There is lots of gear this week after being a little picture heavy lately. Here are your Wednesday Web Links.

  • Vimeo announced its very own iOS app on Tuesday, March 29th. The app is very similar to Apple’s iMovie app which allows you to edit video shot on the iPhone. As you can imagine it is tightly integrated with vimeo.com and also with various social networking sites allowing you to share video on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, WordPress, Email or SMS. The app is free and available in the app store.
  • The Parabolic Light Modification System V.2 umbrellas are once again in stock from Alienbees. According to accounts from users on various forums, they are shipping daily and are no longer on an endless back order. Now if they could get the Einstein, Vagabond Mini Lithium and the new Pocket Wizard Power MC2 in stock too, they just might make a customer out of me.
  • Expo Imaging released the Rogue 3 in 1 Honeycomb Grid to go along with their line of Rogue Flashbenders. I haven’t been able to use one yet but it seems like a really good idea. I currently use the Speed Grids from the Honl Professional Lighting System. They work well but the way the attach to a flash is crap. I end up using 2 Speed Straps to get enough tension to hold them securely. Maybe the Rogue Grid will replace these for me.
  • Canon U.S.A. has issued a press release regarding the possible import delays of products due to the earthquake and tsunami in Japan. It also appears that the The U.S. Customs and Border Protection will be extra cautious with any import from Japan due to radiation concerns. As far as I am concerned they can take as much time as necessary. More than 10,000 people were wiped from the face of the earth in a matter of minutes during the tsunami. Worrying about how greedy Americans will get cameras should not be a concern for the people of Japan at the moment. My thoughts are with Japan as they rebuild their shattered lives.

A List of 5 Things I Wanted to See in 2010

As I look back over 2010, there were a lot of things I wanted to see that just didn’t happen. The list is short but these are the things that I think about while I am working as a photographer.

  1. Canon failed to update the firmware on the EOS 7D to allow disabling the Automatic Gain Control. I am finally starting to enjoy using my 7D for work. I shot an entire football season without using a flash this year. But when it comes to video, I am still better off using a dedicated video camera because it takes an additional $500+ worth of gear to capture decent audio with the 7D. Canon’s low end (under $400) High Definition camcorders feature a mic and headphone jack and allow you to set the levels. Even the consumer oriented 60D allows you to disable the AGC.
  2. Paul C. Buff can’t seem to meet demand with many of their products. I had planned on purchasing a lot of Alien Bees monolights and light modifiers this year. Specifically I wanted to buy a couple of Parabolic Light Modifiers and a bunch of Einstein 640 units. Both have been on back-order or have had manufacturing issues for several months. Needless to say I don’t own either and will probably buy monolights from another manufacturer.
  3. Speedlight makers are still using a prehistoric PC sync port on modern hardware. I use both Nikon and Canon speedlights for off-camera work. I have to constantly bend and tweak the PC sync cables I use to get them to fire consistently. Why can’t they use the 1/8inch mini jack like Pocket Wizards have? It’s stronger, fits tighter and is widely available. 2010 is in the past. In 2011 the PC sync port must die.
  4. I really wanted to see the price of lenses decrease. Instead, most of the line of Canon lenses and camera bodies actually saw about a %10 increase. The weak dollar really screwed the US on that one. Canon announced version 2 of many lenses including the 300 f2.8, 400 f2.8 and 70-200 f2.8. The lowest price for the 70-200 f2.8L IS II is a little over $2K. I won’t even mention the prices of the other 2 lenses.
  5. The standard sized hot shoe disappeared from many non-pro camcorders instead of being included. Canon only makes 1 camcorder that includes a standard width hot shoe and it’s on the endangered species list. Sony no longer makes any. Most of the non-pro camcorders now have a smaller, proprietary hot shoe that somehow bares the name “advanced mini accessory shoe”. How advanced can it be when 99% of mics, lights and accessories no longer work without an adapter?

Should anything else make the list?